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Publisher's Summary

It happens to all of us. You've prepared for days, weeks, even years for the big day when you will finally show your stuff in academics, in your career, in sports but when the big moment arrives, nothing seems to work. You hit the wrong note, drop the ball, get stumped by a simple question. In other words, you choke. It's not fun to think about, but now there's good news: This doesn't have to happen.
Dr. Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals in Choke the astonishing new science of why we all too often blunder when the stakes are high. What happens in our brain and body when we experience the dreaded performance anxiety? And what are we doing differently when everything magically "clicks" into place and the perfect golf swing, tricky test problem, or high-pressure business pitch becomes easy? In an energetic tour of the latest brain science, with surprising insights on every page, Beilock explains the inescapable links between body and mind; reveals the surprising similarities among the ways performers, students, athletes, and business people choke; and shows how to succeed brilliantly when it matters most.
In lively prose and accessibly rendered science, Beilock examines how attention and working memory guide human performance, how experience and practice and brain development interact to create our abilities, and how stress affects all these factors. She sheds new light on counter-intuitive realities, like why the highest performing people are most susceptible to choking under pressure, why we may learn foreign languages best when were not paying attention, why early childhood athletic training can backfire, and how our emotions can make us both smarter and dumber. All these fascinating findings about academic, athletic, and creative intelligence come together in Beilock's new ideas about performance under pressure - and her secrets to never choking again.
©2010 Sian Beilock (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By andrew on 10-04-10

Buzz Word Festival

You know those public speakers who go around peddling easy answers at bored business men forced to come to a team-building seminar by their out-of-the-loop boss? Well this PHD is one of those. Yeah. This book is not empty, but check it out of the local library and skim it in about 2 hours. Find the cool facts and study results, save yourself a lot of time and grief. That's the brief. Want more, keep going.

Written for a "low-powered" audience with very little "working memory" this author uses every trick even 4th graders know to add length to that paper that just won't reach the required number of words. This is a "padded" book. She tells you what she is going to tell you (in the next chapter we will discuss... more on that later (wink)), then she tells you. Again and again. Then she tells you what she told you. (Remember how in Chapter 2...) Plus there are the sentence fatteners. "Think about that for a second..." "However", "obviously", and so forth as well. Plus she gives you a buzz word, defines it, then continues to define it every time for the rest of the book. Like "working memory" above. That, is your "cognitive horsepower". (Its mean to call people smart or dumb.) You can be "high-powered" (smart), or "low-powered" (dumb). Basically. Get used to those terms as they are in every paragraph. The narration must be classified as a hate crime. Silly and hammy like a bad actress on a cheap sitcom handed a lab coat and told she is a cooky doctor. The author also strains off topic a lot, spending more words on fake examples (Jared is a black student at Princeton) and a sermon for why prejudice is mean and bad. Lots of examples of when people choked, as if the very existence of choking were her topic. She's a used car salesman thumping the hood to impress you after you've already said "I'll take it." The worst part though is ending every section with "they choked...under the...pressure!" With long pauses like a time worn punch-line.

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22 of 25 people found this review helpful


By Shelby on 10-02-10

Both good and bad

This book is very interesting and contains plenty of good advice for performing well in different types of stressful situations. The reader has a very patronizing tone, though. I listened all the way through, but at the beginning, I wasn't sure I'd be able to stomach listening to her. The book also could have used more editing. It's very repetitive.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mr. I. H. Jones on 02-24-11

Outstanding in content and presentation

Suzanne Toren is the ideal reader for this book. She reads clearly, at an appropriate pace, and has obviously thoroughly understood the sometimes quite technical content. She makes the most telling points with just the right tone of emphasis or irony, and even pronounces the name of psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi correctly, a feat which many professional psychologists cannot master.
The text itself constitutes a most enlightening and practically useful review of research in the area of human achievement. While the background is filled in with details of some historically famous experiments and effects, most of the research quoted is very recent. The results are always interesting and sometimes surprising. All aspects of achievement are discussed, from academic, logical and mathematical performance, where 'cognitive horsepower' is at a premium, to procedural behaviour such as sporting prowess and musical performance. At the end of each section the author summarises the implications of the research with a series of practical tips to improve performance.
I believe this book will be of great interest and practical benefit to students, teachers and academics, sportsmen, athletes and musicians. I look forward to the day when these findings start to permeate the school and university teaching and testing systems.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Tinashe on 08-28-17

review <br />

stuggled to finish no memorable moments narrators book was too long and boring nothing exciting

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