中級 美國腔 20139 分類 收藏
Your favorite athlete closes in for a victorious win.
The crowd holds its breath,
and, at the crucial moment, she misses the shot.
That competitor just experienced the phenomenon known as "choking,"
where despite months, even years, of practice,
a person fails right when it matters most.
Choking is common in sports,
where performance often occurs under intense pressure
and depends on key moments.
And yet, performance anxiety also haunts public speakers,
contestants in spelling bees,
and even world-famous musicians.
Most people intuitively blame it on their nerves,
but why does being nervous undermine expert performance?
There are two sets of theories,
which both say that primarily, choking under pressure boils down to focus.
First, there are the distraction theories.
These suggest that performance suffers when the mind is preoccupied
with worries, doubts, or fears,
instead of focusing its attention on performing the task at hand.
When relevant and irrelevant thoughts compete for the same attention,
something has to give.
The brain can only process so much information at once.
Tasks that challenge working memory,
the mental “scratch pad” we use
to temporarily store phone numbers and grocery lists,
are especially vulnerable to pressure.
In a 2004 study, a group of university students
were asked to perform math problems,
some easy, others more complex and memory-intensive.
Half the students completed both problem types with nothing at stake,
while the others completed them when calm and under pressure.
While everyone did well on the easy problems,
those who were stressed performed worse
on the more difficult, memory-intensive tasks.
Explicit monitoring theories make up the second group of explanations for choking under pressure.
They're concerned with how pressure
can cause people to overanalyze the task at hand.
Here, the logic goes that once a skill becomes automatic,
thinking about its precise mechanics interferes with your ability to do it.
Tasks we do unconsciously seem to be most vulnerable to this kind of choking.
A study on competitive golfers compared their performance
when instructed to simply focus on putting as accurately as possible,
versus when they were primed to be acutely aware
of the mechanics of their putting stroke.
Golfers usually perform this action subconsciously,
so those who suddenly tuned in to the precise details of their own moves
also became worse at making accurate shots.
Choking may not be inevitable for everyone though.
Research suggests that some are more susceptible than others,
especially those who are self-conscious,
and afraid of being judged negatively by others.
So, how can we avoid choking when it really counts?
First, it helps to practice under stressful conditions.
In a study on expert dart players,
researchers found that those who hadn't practiced under stress
performed worse when anxious,
compared to those who had become accustomed to pressure.
Secondly, many performers extol the virtues of a pre-performance routine,
whether it's taking a few deep breaths,
repeating a cue word,
or doing a rhythmic sequence of movements.
Studies on golfing, bowling, and water polo
find that short rituals can lead to more consistent and accurate performance under pressure.
And thirdly, researchers have shown
that having an external focus on the ultimate goal
works better than an internal focus,
where someone is tuned into the mechanics of what they're doing.
A study of experienced golfers revealed that those who hit chip shots while focused on the flight of the ball
performed significantly better than those who focused on the motion of their arms.
So, perhaps we can modify that age-old saying:
practice, under pressure, with focus, and with that glorious end goal in sight,
makes perfect.



【TED-Ed】在壓力超大時如何維持冷靜 (How to stay calm under pressure - Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen)

20139 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 10 月 5 日    Amber Li 翻譯    Evangeline 審核



haunt 是指某件事情像鬼魂一樣「反覆困擾」、「縈繞在心頭」,通常是用在惡夢、不好的回憶這類負面的事情上。
The experiences of being bullied have haunted Tim for his whole life.
對 Tim 而言,被霸凌的經驗會是他這輩子揮之不去的夢魘。

另一個跟 haunt 相似的片語是 cast a shadow over sth./sb.
cast 是「丟、擲」的意思,所以把陰影丟到某人或某事身上就是「讓…蒙上陰影」。
The scandal cast a shadow over the upcoming royal wedding.

好想忘掉這一切!我們有辦法除去記憶嗎?(Can You Erase Bad Memories?)

2boil down to0:52
boil 是煮沸的意思,我們可以把一鍋湯想像成一個問題,如果把湯裡面的水分都煮到蒸發後,就可以看到剩下的食材,也就是問題的癥結點,所以 boil down to 就衍伸為「(問題的) 主要原因在於…」或「歸咎於...」。
The country's environmental pollution and the economic inequality boil down to industrialization.

3at hand1:06
at hand 的意思是「在手邊的」或「即將到來的」。
Do not get distracted; you must focus on the task at hand!

如果是 on hand 則是指「手上有某些資源可以利用」。
Don't worry about the pre-test; we will have a consultant on hand to answer your questions.

4compete for1:09
compete 是動詞,意思是「競爭」,後面可以加上 for 或是 with/against,但意思卻完全不同。compete for 是指跟某人競相爭取「某事」,但 compete with 則是跟「某人」競爭。
The two startups are competing for their customers' trust.

When the music prodigy competed with other teenage participants, he showed no signs of fear.

另外 compete 這個字的名詞是 competition (比賽、競賽),形容詞則是 competitive (具有競爭力的)。

5at stake1:39
stake 這個字的意思是「股份、賭注」,如果說某件事被拿去當賭注的話就代表他會處於風險之中,所以 at stake 就衍伸為「有危險、風險」或「在危急的情況下」。
All of citizens' lives will be at stake if the government neglects to implement a solution.

碳交易的故事 (The Story of Cap & Trade)


文/ Vivian Chen




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