Stress boosts performance for confident students, but holds back those with more anxiety

August 26, 2011

Science Daily/University of Chicago

Knowing the right way to handle stress in the classroom can make the difference between success and failure for the millions of students going back to school this fall. Researchers found that a hormone released in response to stress can either be tied to a student's poor performance on a math test or contribute to success, depending on the frame of mind of the student going into the test.

 

"We found that cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, can either be tied to a student's poor performance on a math test or contribute to success, depending on the frame of mind of the student going into the test," said Sian Beilock, associate professor in psychology at UChicago and one of the nation's leading experts on poor performance by otherwise talented people.

 

"When you're worried about doing well in a game, or giving a memorized speech in front of others, the best thing to do is to distract yourself with a little tune before you start so you don't become focused on all the details of what you've done so many times before," she said. "On the playing field, thinking too much can be a bad thing," she further explained.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110809092045.htm

 

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