A new study conducted by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University may have found the reason why some people may choke under pressure and fail to achieve what they were aiming for.
According to the study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the performance of an individual who is under pressure depends on two factors, the person's aversion to loss and the framing of the incentive in terms of a loss or a gain.
The researchers reveal that a person who had a high loss aversion was more likely to choke under pressure. The researchers led by Vikram Chib suggested that measuring a person's loss aversion and framing the task in such a way that it can reduce the perception of aversion can ensure that he or she will not choke under pressure. The study was conducted on a group of 26 participants, between 20 and 30 years of age, over a period of two days.
"We found that the way we framed an incentiveas a potential gain or losshad a profound effect on participants' behavior as they performed the skilled task. But the effect was different for those with high versus low aversion to loss. We can measure someone's loss aversion and then frame the task in a way that might help them avoid choking under pressure", Chib said.