This post deals with the “choking” phenomena (not knowing what to say at a critical kairos moment) that many men face when they are in a high pressure social situation. Here, we examine the problem of choking, the power of a man’s speech, and the origins of that power.
The contents are organized into the following parts.
- The Problem
- Choking: Scientific Theories
- Choking: Contributing Factors
- Choke Points
- The Heart-Speech Connection
- Internalize Truth and Command the Truth in Speech
- Good Listening Skills Can Motivate Others to Refine Themselves by Examining the Contents of their Own Heart and Speech
1. The Problem
“I always know the right thing to say… after the right time to say it has passed.”
When you are faced with a critical kairos moment in a high pressure social situation, such as dealing with an abrupt stranger, making a cold approach to a woman, or arguing with the wife, what is your typical reaction?
- Do you back down like a good and loyal beta, to show your polite and respectful deference?
- Do you change the subject? (Avoidance)
- Do you Please and Appease, hoping to be “rewarded” for your “good behavior”?
- Do you fall into Passive-Aggressive mode?
- Do you withdraw, try to forget it, and go on about “life as usual”?
- Do you become “politically correct”?
- Do you sink into Analysis Paralysis?
- Or, do you “man up” and become salt and light?
To make matters more complicated, there remains the simple fact that whenever men fail to speak and take a stand, feminists and their coward buddies, and others who use feminists as useful fools to advance their social agendas, stampede onto center stage and steal the show.
Another common problem that many men face is what I’ll call “Spiritual Silence”. Spiritual silence is the inability to inspire a positive change in the attitudes and emotions of others. For example, one husband talks to his wife, and she gets angry, aroused, excited and/or animated, while another husband talks to his wife, and she rolls her eyes as all his words go in one ear and out the other. The first wife is spiritually moved by her husband, while the second is failing to experience any spiritual effluence from her husband. The fact that she is not getting emotionally roller-coastered by him makes her feel disappointed, frustrated, and over time, contemptuous. This is especially true for women prone to hamstering and indulging their hypergamic tendencies.
It could be argued that the whole purpose of learning Game is the enhancement and control of one’s spiritual affect on others, namely women.
A third common problem men face is not having the PRESENCE (e.g. emotional), AWARENESS (e.g. sexual), and the continuous interaction with the NOW, that would allow them to be able to say the right things at the right time, such that they could create the impact they desire. It is always of the utmost importance for a man to be “plugged in” to whatever is happening in his immediate spatial vicinity. Women especially, are very conscious of this quality in a man.
Many men are worried about their inefficacious or inaccurate speech. They have the idea that if they could find the “right words” to say, and be bold enough to say them, then they would hit their social target. This belief is somewhat true, but it tends to set a man in motion towards succumbing to Analysis Paralysis, which is best avoided by planning ahead, such that when a critical moment arises, you’re not involuntarily thrust into a position of urgent defensiveness and anxiety. This will be discussed later.
Also, men tend to think their main difficulty is with low confidence or discomfort in a social setting. Again, this is only partly true. The real problem is that men are self-conscious, unable to focus their concentration, and they don’t take measures to increase their confidence and natural comfort. As we will see later, a lot of this is done through preparation and practice.
3. Choking: Scientific Theories
As mentioned earlier, choking is a phenomena where a man freezes up at the very moment it most matters. There are several theories regarding the phenomena of choking, which are briefly outlined as follows.
Wine  was the first to address choking from a scientific approach. His work proposed an explanation of why students under-perform during academic testing. His theory argues that pressure creates a dual task situation which draws attention away from the task at hand. Attention is then focused towards irrelevant stimuli such as worries, social expectations, and anxiety .
Research has found that distraction theory is supported in situations where working memory is used to analyze and make decisions quickly . Short term memory is used to maintain relevant stimuli and block irrelevant information as it relates to the task at hand .
Baumeister was the next to address choking. He predicted a decrease in performance when one’s attention is shifted to movement execution. There is more focus on the motor components of performance, consciously controlling movements with step-by-step control . Also, any combination of factors that increase the importance of performing is considered performance pressure. Furthermore, one’s responding to performance pressure can lead to an increase in self-conscious attention to the execution, which then results in choking .
Attentional Threshold Model
This model combines both the Distraction model and the Self-Focus model by positing that a performance decrement is caused when a situation exceeds the threshold of one’s attentional capacity. This work suggests that choking is a complex process involving the combination of cognitive (e.g. worry), emotional (e.g. anxiety, fear) and attentional (i.e. self-focus) factors .
Explicit Monitoring Theory
The explicit monitoring theory provides an explanation for athlete’s under-performance at the precise moment they need to be at their best. According to a study of expert golfers , choking was unchanged by dual-task training but eliminated by self-consciousness training. They reasoned that,
“pressure raises self-consciousness and anxiety about performing correctly, which increases the attention paid to skill processes and their step-by-step control. Attention to execution at this step-by-step level is thought to disrupt well-learned or proceduralized performances.”
Thus, self-consciously attending to proceduralized skills hurts performance.
Processing Efficiency Theory (PET)
According to PET, efficiency is defined as the relationship between the quality of task performance and the effort spent in task performance . Athletes put extra effort into their performance when under pressure, to eliminate negative performance. Eysenck et al.  found processing efficiency is affected by negative anxiety more than the effectiveness of performance outcome. Anxiety causes a shift in an athlete’s attention towards thoughts of performance consequences and failure. This increase in worry decreases attention resources and requires more effort to maintain concentration.
Attentional Control Theory (ACT)
Eysenck and Calvo developed ACT as an extension to PET, hypothesizing that an individual shifts attention to irrelevant stimuli. Stress and pressure cause an increase in the stimulus-driven system and a decrease in the goal-directed system. Disruption of balance between these two systems causes the individual to respond to salient stimuli rather than focusing on current goals . ACT identifies the basic central executive functions inhibition and shifting, which are affected by anxiety. Inhibition is the ability to minimize distractions caused from irrelevant stimuli . Shifting requires adapting to changes in attentional control. Shifting back and forth between mental sets due to task demands .
4. Choking: Contributing Factors
Factors which aggrandize choking may include the following:
- Self-Confidence (challenge level vs. skill set, individual responsibility, physical/mental errors)
- Self-Consciousness (presence of an audience, fear of a negative evaluation, important games/moments)
- Expectations (Mindset)
- Poor Preparation
- Opponent’s Actions
These factors are discussed as follows.
1. Self-Confidence (Challenge Level vs. Skill Set, Individual Responsibility, Physical/Mental Errors)
Having low self-confidence leads to more mistakes, because you do not believe you can do anything well towards a positive effect . On the other hand, being over-confident can cause negativity to take over quickly. Negativity hurts the total affect of one’s interaction with others, in that they get turned of by the authoritative contempt that is typically displayed by those at the top of the game. Excessive, egotistical pride has also been known to cause blind spots and errors in cognitive awareness.
No matter how high or low a man’s skill set might be, there should always be a match between a man’s skills and abilities, and the challenge level of the task at hand. The matching of these two aspects, skill and challenge, is where a man might achieve a maximum flow experience, leading towards the achievement of confidence, dexterity, and efficacy. This is the concept behind Csíkszentmihályi Flow.
Tasks that entail considerable responsibility should be assigned to a man’s whose skills and abilities are suitably matched. If the challenge is far below his skill set, then he will be bored and restless, as his higher talents will remain unemployed. If the challenge is far greater than his skill set, then the likelihood of failure is compounded, thus contributing to his anxiety and a lack of confidence. In this case, more time and practice is necessary to increase one’s skill level.
Provided that the challenges are well matched to one’s skill level, one defining habit that separates the winners from the losers, is in how they process their mistakes and poor performances in regard to their psychological self-image. The winner accepts it in stride as a part of life, and tries to improve his performance upon the next round. The loser tends to accept the failure as an indicator of his own value and sense of worth, and allows that judgment to compound his sense of low self-esteem.
2. Self-Consciousness (Presence of an Audience, Fear of Negative Evaluation, Important Games/Moments)
Self-Consciousness is the overt focus on the self, including cognizance, perceived self-image and one’s immediate actions. An audience, the fear of a negative evaluation, and important events, all tend to make one feel insignificant and/or pressured to perform well, which tends to make one self-conscious. An athlete wants to perform their best while being observed and trying not to make any mistakes increases the amount of pressure they are under . The presence of parents, coaches, media or scouts can increase pressure leading to choking.
A study done by Wang, Marchant, Morris and Gibbs (2004) found poor performance associated with high self-conscious individuals. An individual with high self-consciousness focuses their attention to thoughts relating to the task (i.e., “did I step right?”) and to outside concerns (i.e., “will people laugh if I mess up?”). Individuals with low self-consciousness can direct their attention outward or inward because self-concerns do not dominate their thinking .
FNE is a psychological characteristic that increases anxiety under high pressure. Creates apprehension about others evaluations or expectations of oneself . FNE is similar to motive to avoid failure (MaF). The need to avoid negative evaluation from others, avoid mistakes and avoid negative comparison to other players .
3. Expectations (Mindset)
Not expecting something negative to happen can cause a choke. But the dilemma is that it is difficult to prepare for what we do not expect. So here, it pays off to be mentored by someone who has a great deal of successful experience in the area we endeavor to develop.
It is generally better for a man to err on the side of extravagance in the way of expectations. (This is not true for women.) Expecting more positives can inspire one to aim higher. Expecting more negatives can motivate one to prepare more diligently.
The mark of a man is not in his physical or emotional strength, nor his notch count, but in how far he is willing to go, how much he is willing to risk or sacrifice, to see the situation through to the completion of His will.
4. Poor Preparation
We might imagine the totality of Choking as the juxtaposition of a social demand upon a spot of ill-preparedness or emptiness within the man’s heart and mind. The man could either be caught unaware, or he simply has nothing to inject into the situation at hand.
An idealistic goal is to be prepared for any situation, and also to prepare others with whom we interact. In reality, it takes years of experience, education and training to collect an adequate knowledge of difficult encounters, and a well-practiced set of skills in dealing with life. A man would do well to accept this task as a responsibility of being a (Christian) man.
5. Opponents Actions
If a man is set against an opponent with a skill set far above his own. He is at a stark disadvantage. If a man is aware of this, he would be wise to defer to the better man, possibly accepting him as a mentor if it is agreeable for both parties, or else avoid an altercation, if they stand in disagreement, in terms of their values, goals, and principles. In other words, if friend, conform to a hierarchy; if foe, stand down, study, practice, and wait for a time in which you are better equipped, and better matched. In some instances, a man might have a strength in the area of another’s weakness, and under the right circumstances, this might be used to gain an upper hand.
As long as someone else can reframe our words to mean something we did not really intend, we can be subjected to shame. This is not God’s will for us. We must learn to master the truth of God in our lives, and in our speech. Then, we can take control of a situation before it takes control of us, and we will not need to invent last-minute rationalizations during a confrontation. (That is what women and children do, so don’t be like them.)
5. Choke Points
Next, we’ll look at a few of the most common Choke Points that men experience.
Choke Point 1: The Satisfied Ego
Once you think you understand some point of truth, don’t allow yourself to become a complacent “know-it-all”, who fails to exert the effort to exercise that truth. Instead, take yourself to task. Sharpen your wits, like “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17), by discussing your viewpoint on that truth with another person.
Choke Point 2: The Weak Heart
Some people who are weak in faith, don’t want to discuss questionable viewpoints with others, because it makes them get confused and discouraged. That is a real-life spiritual battle that they are afraid to fight, because they don’t want to become a casualty. People like this need extra support and encouragement from other, more mature, experienced men and believers.
Choke Point 3: The Fearful Heart
Modern men are facing the failures of their reputations, careers and marriages, and the loss of their progeny and their economic wealth, all which are, by and large, directed by the feministic values and ideologies which have overrun modern society. As such, men these days are showing a greater propensity to cave into the demands of selfish women. With the power of public opinion and the law behind these women, coupled with the increase of men sharing commonality with marital fraud (e.g. lying about partner count), betrayal and frivorce theft, it is no longer a mark of shame for a man to be cowed by a woman anymore. Moreover, fear has become more commonplace among men than it was in previous generations. Men must be increasingly brave to face such challenges and risks in today’s world, and they need the encouragement and support of other men in doing so.
Choke Point 4: The Proud Heart
A lot of other people won’t go to the trouble to sharpen wits with another, because they’re afraid of losing face. They don’t want to see the dross come out of their mouths, in the process of being refined. If you know of people like this, I recommend that you pray that they might find the motivation to become humble by realizing the benefits that can be obtained.
Choke Point 5: The Hypocritical Bigot
Another variety of the Proud Heart is the Pharisee-like believer, who feeds his spiritual pride by castigating the beliefs of others, and perhaps even quotes the Bible in doing so. But don’t be fooled; his heart is not sincere enough to be taken seriously by others.
You must be aware of the difference between rebuke and mockery – the former has a caring and sincere heart towards your spiritual advancement, whereas, the latter is setting you up to be a laughingstock. If you know of people like this, I recommend that you avoid theological discussions with them (See Proverbs 28:25) and pray that they might find the truth of God’s presence in humility, which may very well require them to be broken first.
Choke Point 6: The “Jellyfish” Disposition
Some people simply have no willpower to engage others socially. They prefer to stay on the sidelines and merely observe others who are taking the trouble to make progress. They allow others to control them, and they remain oblivious to how they are being used. They may have their own minds decided on any issue, but they cannot apply themselves to affect the world around them, because they have not developed power in their speech, and thus, they lack authenticity.
A contrasting approach to defeating the habit of choking is not by studying the causes and effects of choking, but by adopting a completely separate view that is independent of the problem, which thereby displaces (and eliminates) a mindset that obsesses over the problem.
6. The Heart – Speech Connection
Getting the Frame and Inner Game together is of monumental importance before we start discussing planning, preparation and practice. You need to understand what is going on within your being that creates the choking experience, and your consequent invalid social offerings.
There is, in fact, a direct connection between the condition of your heart, and the contents of your speech. Several passages in the Bible (e.g. Matthew 12:34; Matthew 15:18; Luke 6:45) indicate that we can speak only of the things that are already contained within our hearts.
While it is true that your words proceed naturally from your heart, it is likewise true that cultivating your speech on a habitual basis can RENOVATE the contents of your heart. So the key idea here, is that when you examine and revise your speech, you are actually investigating, vetting, and refining the contents of your heart.
This heart-speech connection resonates with several scriptures in the Bible, namely the following.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”
“With our heart, we believe unto righteousness, and with our mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”
[Eds. note: The heart-speech connection is also manifested in Psychological Projection. Please compare for a fuller analysis.]
I believe a lot of young guys with an SMV of 5-6 would consider pegging a HB9 to be a “saving grace” experience. Heh…
But in the kairos moment, we often find that we don’t have the words to apprehend the truths we seek. So, an effective confession (or profession) remains elusive.
Dealing with this phenomena is more complicated than simply rephrasing the way you say things, like you do when you memorize pick-up lines. (See Matthew 15:8) You can learn some killer lines, but they may not really work for you. The reason for this inefficacy is the fact that those lines aren’t really from your heart. You’re not conveying the “real you”. Women can pick up on this immediately and instinctively, and they intuitively know that you’re “fake”. There’s nothing that women hate more, than a low-quality man posing as a high-quality man. They may even say so. So you’re only making a fool of yourself by quoting pick-up lines that you heard from someone else.
The solution is not just to talk and act like a high-quality man, but to actually become a high-quality man. This may not be as difficult as one might think. The beginning of the character transformation is in developing an identity of integrity, by improving the congruency between what is in your heart, and what comes out through your speech.
So this brings us to the next point.
7. Internalize Truth and Command the Truth in Speech
A large part of our spiritual struggle is to internalize the “Truth” (be it God’s Holy Word or Heartiste’s 16 Commandments of Poon). You must put your own spin on it, personalize it, own it from the heart, and command it at will.
Many Red Pill blogs in the Manosphere do not put a great emphasis on the internalization process, and I don’t know of any books on the subject either. However, the Bible has a few passages about the function and purpose of internalizing Truth.
“Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
This is the warning: Kindly note that this verse does NOT say that “Scripture is profitable for debate, for derision, for a standard of discrimination…” The reproof, correction and instruction come from the INSPIRATION gained through studying God’s word and experiencing His Love and Grace – NOT from another, “holier-than-thou” person trying to “change” you. You have to submit to God’s truth, and let God do the work of renovating your heart.
“11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
This is the application: If you cannot express yourself WELL on any subject, study, practice, and struggle until you can.
- Write down your problems and fears in a blog or journal.
- Understand the mind and human nature by taking classes in philosophy, psychology, logic, argumentation and debate.
- Study language arts. Make sure your grammar is sound and respectable.
- Read some source of wisdom every day, including noteworthy literary classics, the Bible, and Red Pill blogs on the Manosphere. Read it out loud and make your mouth profess truth.
- Memorize Scriptures, Maxims, and other principles that are fundamental to your values and beliefs.
- Make an inventory of your own values and personality.
- Prepare, memorize, and practice giving an introduction of yourself.
You can be certain that many times in your life, events will come up that will demand your immediate polished response.
This is the reprisal: If your response is inadequate, then stubbornly resist the temptation to pity yourself, or decline into bitterness. Instead, study your failures.
- Write down whatever verbalizations may have come into your mind.
- Consult the key literature again (e.g. Scriptures, Red Pill Maxims). Find where you went wrong. Write it down.
- Ruminate on these truths, and improve your expression until it develops the power of authenticity.
- Discuss the matter with a trusted friend to get an outside perspective of yourself.
- Edit your written words, and revise them as necessary.
- Practice reciting the improved version, while concentrating on attaining a smooth and confident delivery.
- When you find yourself in the next event, test yourself to see how much you have really improved.
This is the exercise: Try to state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be truth, and you will (1) internalize that truth, and (2) pass that truth on to someone else who will benefit from that same truth, as you have.
When you have successfully re-expressed some truth in your own words, then it becomes uniquely yours in speech. When that expression becomes your expression, then this is when your words gain authenticity. This authenticity and sincerity is what will impact the lives of others.
This mastery can impact every area of your life, not only your Game or your marriage.
But if you say lazily, “I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will quote so and so, and borrow what I say”, then the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. It might even get you into hot water, if you don’t thoroughly understand what you are saying.
This is the cost of neglect: If you do not own truth from the heart, if you dismiss it as being too troublesome or time-consuming, then you’ll never apprehend the power obtainable through believing in that truth.
In addition, someone who needs to hear your words, that special woman, that friend or brother, will be spiritually poorer all the days of his/her life.
Furthermore, if you do not contribute to the emotional and spiritual lives of others, then they are less likely to respect, admire and appreciate you. That is just how people are, and that’s how it is.
Oswald Chambers is an author who has benefited my spiritual life. He wrote,
“The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.”
[Eds. note: This is why I write in this blog – to share the words I have fought and suffered to obtain, so that others may find the words to express the trophies of their own spiritual battles – these are the “pearls of great price”.]
8. Good Listening Skills Can Motivate Others to Refine Themselves by Examining the Contents of their own Heart and Speech
When a person knows that another person is truly listening to them, then they tend to be more conscientious of what they are thinking, feeling and saying. It has the potential to touch their heart very deeply.
One tactic for good communication is to try to repeat, in your own words, what the other person has said, and to get that person’s confirmation as to whether your version agrees with what he/she originally stated. If it does, then you can both be assured that you have understood each other, but if it does not, then the point of discussion has an opportunity to be clarified, as this tactic brings out specifically what has been misunderstood.
This habit shows the other person that you are truly listening. Listening has been lauded by many PUA’s as being a crucial element of making a lasting impression.
This is also a good tactic to use in our communications with God, as well. In fact, most Christian disciplines, such as prayers, testimonies, exhortations, preaching and teaching, all utilize these same tactics in order to improve one’s impact on others. These types of exercises are equivalent to practicing one’s “spiritual speech”.
Choking is one of the main challenges that a man experiences, and it is my hope that the guidelines offered here will help men overcome the experience of choking.
The best defenses against choking are listed as follows.
- Be well equipped.
- Be well prepared.
- Practice your skill in a state of Flow. Start with what is familiar to you, and branch out to discover the frontier of your ability.
- Control the focus of your attention to stay on the target.
- Beware of your “autopilot”. Stay aware of the present moment, always live in the NOW.
- Whenever you might get bored or anxious, check how your challenge level compares to your skill level. Don’t blame yourself if there is a mismatch. Simply adjust if needed.
- When you experience a failure or get distracted, analyze the mistake and find where you went off. Learn from your mistakes.
- Occasionally, take some time to reflect on your progress, and admire your work/accomplishments with satisfaction. This will augment your confidence and sense of well-being.
- From time to time, review how your endeavors contribute towards the target of your goal. Decide how important any one particular priority is, whether you are spending too little or too much time and effort on this, and adjust accordingly. Then, after you have outlined your schedule or strategy, concentrate more on getting into Flow, and not so much on the task execution, or your present performance.
- Continually refine the integrity of your heart and speech. Be patient with yourself.
Other endeavors which may prove useful to this end include the following.
- Keep a journal or diary. Write down noteworthy events in your life. Record your thoughts, fears and confusion. Study the topics that come up, and pray about these things. Reread what you have written from time to time. Take an inventory of your progress.
- Read classical literature. Study your native language. Expand your vocabulary and refine your verbal mechanics.
- Take a class in debate. Learn the difference between honest and dishonest debate tactics, so that you can keep yourself in a reasonable state, and call people out on their logical errors.
- Make an inventory of your own personality.
- Prepare, memorize, and practice giving an introduction of yourself.
- Get to know how others perceive you, as well as your strengths and weaknesses in presentation. Make a video or voice recording of yourself talking, and study it. Identify your tics and overused phrases/expressions. Get into the habit of making yourself say what you want to say.
- Challenge yourself to talk for at least 5 minutes, with at least 5 new people, every day.
For more on this topic, I recommend the book, “The Silence of Adam” by Dr. Larry Crabb, as well as the scientific studies listed in the References.
- Wine, J (1971). “Test anxiety and direction of attention”. Psychological Bulletin. 76:92–104. doi:1037/h0031332.
- Beilock, S. L.; Carr, T. H. (2001). “On the fragility of skilled performance: What governs choking under pressure?.”. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 130(4):701–725. doi:1037/0096-34220.127.116.111.
- Beilock, S. H. (2005). “When High-Powered People Fail”. Psychological Science. 16(2):101–105. PMID15686575. doi:1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00789.x.
- Miyake, A., Shah, P. (1999). Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. New York: University Press.
- Schucker, L., Hagemann, N., Strauss, B. (2013). “Attentional Processes and Choking Under Pressure”. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 116:671–689. doi:2466/30.25.pms.116.2.671-689.
- Baumeister, R. F. (1984). “Choking under pressure: Self-consciousness and paradoxical effects of incentives on skillful performance”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 46(3):610–620. doi:1037/0022-3518.104.22.1680.
- Cox, R. (2012). Sport Psychology Concepts and Applications (Seventh ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 143. ISBN978-0-07-802247-0.
- Oudejans, R. R. D., Kuijpers, W., Kooijman, C. C., Bakker, F. C. (January 2011). “Thoughts and attention of athletes under pressure: skill-focus or performance worries?”Anxiety, Stress & Coping. 24(1):59–73. doi:1080/10615806.2010.481331.
- Eysenck, M., Derakshan, N., Santos, R., Calvo, M. (2007). “Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theroy”(PDF). Emotion. 7(2):336–353. doi:1037/1528-3522.214.171.1246.
- Cox, R. (2012). Sport Psychology Concepts and Applications (Seventh ed.). New York, NY:McGraw-Hill. pp. 142–143. ISBN978-0-07-802247-0.
- Coombes, S., Higgins, T., Gamble, K., Cauraugh, J., Janelle, C. (2009). “Attentional control theory: Anxiety, emotion and motor planning”. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 23(8):1072–1079. doi:1016/j.janxdis.2009.07.009.
- Eysenck, M., Derakshan, N., Santos, R., Calvo, M. (2007). “Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theory”(PDF). Emotion. 7(2):336–353. doi:1037/1528-35126.96.36.1996.
- Hill, D., Shaw, G. (2013). “A qualitative examination of choking under pressure in team sport”. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 14:103–110. doi:1016/j.psychsport.2012.07.008.
- Wang, J., Marchant, D., Morris, T., Gibbs, P. (2004). “Self-consciousness and trait anxiety as predictors of choking in sport”. Science and Medicine in Sport. 7(2):174–185. doi:1016/s1440-2440(04)80007-0.
- Mesagno, C., Harvey, J. T., Janelle, C. M. (2012). “Choking under pressure: The role of fear of negative evaluation”. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 12(1):60–68.
[Eds. note (November 4-28, 2017): This post was extensively revised to include “Choking: Scientific Theories”, and “Choking: Contributing Factors”.]
[Eds. note (January 16, 2017): This post was revised to emphasize the importance of Csíkszentmihályi Flow.]