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Thought in ActionExpertise and the Conscious Mind$
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Barbara Gail Montero

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596775.001.0001

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Does Thinking Interfere With Doing?

Does Thinking Interfere With Doing?

(p.75) 4 Does Thinking Interfere With Doing?
Thought in Action

Barbara Gail Montero

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins an argument for the view that thought and effort do not interfere with but instead are integral to expert action. According to the predominant theory of choking under pressure, what is called “the explicit monitoring theory,” athletes, performing artists, and others choke under pressure, because anxiety is thought to induce attention to the details of a skill. This chapter scrutinizes some of the empirical studies and philosophical accounts of skill (such as those of Richard Masters, Sian Beilock, Roy Baumeister, Wilson and Schooler, Goldman and Rao, and Hubert Dreyfus) that are thought to lend support to the so-called phenomenon of “paralysis by analysis.” It also presents an alternative account of the data in line with “distraction theory” and is consistent with the idea that monitoring and conscious control are beneficial even in high-pressure situations.

Keywords:   choking under pressure, anxiety, paralysis by analysis, explicit monitoring theory, distraction theory, Masters, Beilock, Baumeister, Dreyfus, Schooler

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