Last week the New York Times ran and article called The Psychology of Choking Under Pressure. Now, I’m not a big proponent of the term ‘choking’ but I get why they used it in this article. It’s really about how people sense the ‘stakes’ they are working/playing for.
The study the Times quotes reveals some pretty counter-intuitive findings:
It may be that those of us who don’t like losses also have an exaggerated fear of failure, so we regard that opportunity to win $100 not as a chance for gain but as an outsize opportunity to fail. Conversely, people more comfortable with loss might harbor a surprising intolerance for losing what they already have.