IS IT BAD TO CONTROL TOO MUCH? THE EFFECT OF THE REGULATORY FOCUS ON THE ESTIMATION OF SHORT TIME INTERVALS UNDER COMPETITIVE PRESSURE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Choking under pressure is the phenomenon known in sport as errors in the automated motor skill execution that appear under circumstances that increase the importance of good or improved performance (Baumeister, 1984). Several theories claim that the reason for this phenomenon lies in control reinvestment, which provokes skill de-automatization. According to our hypothesis, control reinvestment appears due to fear of making a mistake, because an attempt to check "if the mistake is made or not" paradoxically provokes a mistake (Allakhverdov, 2000; Wegner, 1994). In our study we analyzed the influence of two factors: the "value" factor (regular vs valuable trials); and the "frame of the task" factor (bonus vs penalty). Participants played a computer game "Virtual Golf", competing with each other. In a golf-like virtual scenario, a player had to learn to putt the ball to a hole displayed on the screen by pressing and holding a key for a certain period (2, 4, 6, 8 sec). The value of the target was manipulated during the competition session. In addition, one group was penalized for failing to hit the valuable target, whereas the other group received extra rewards for a hit. The generalized data of the experiment is in line with the theory of control reinvestment, as well as the idea that excessive control adversely affects performance of simple automated tasks. We observed choking under pressure when participants were putting balls in the closest targets (2 sec): participants made more errors putting the ball to valuable targets than to regular ones. The influence of task frame on the time taken for preparation for the trials was discovered: the "penalty" group prepared longer. We also found out that when more time was taken preparing for the shot, more errors were made.

Translated title of the contributionПлохо ли, когда контроля слишком много? Влияние регуляторного фокуса на оценку коротких временных интервалов в ситуации соревновательного давления
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-591
Number of pages15
JournalПСИХОЛОГИЯ. ЖУРНАЛ ВЫСШЕЙ ШКОЛЫ ЭКОНОМИКИ
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • choking under pressure
  • competitive pressure
  • reinvestment of control
  • estimation of time intervals
  • regulatory focus
  • task frame
  • penalty
  • reward
  • errors
  • PERFORMANCE
  • PROMOTION
  • CHOKING
  • PREVENTION
  • EFFICIENCY
  • IMPACT
  • SKILL

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