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Paralysis through perceived peer pressure - Page 3

post #61 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
...Psychologists use quantum physics to explain family dynamics ...
If one of these folk ever plan on coming within 100 yards of me, they better be wearing their flak jacket.



Tom / PM
post #62 of 87
Tom, I am enjoying this conversation and learning a lot from it. Thanks for the tutorial. I've found that the history of science is a fascinating subject.

I hope you never have to go to family counseling, but if you do, do not be surprised if that quantum analogy comes up.
post #63 of 87
more interesting than the history of science is the philosophy of science. most interesting about it is the way it's been used by industry AND by plaintiff's lawyers to cloud the issue of using scientific evidence in litigation.

personally, I dig on Karl Popper.

how about you, Tom? nolo? anyone?
post #64 of 87
Thanks, Gonz. I will check out the philosophy of science too.

One thing I've found is that any theory breaks down at some point in explaining reality. There simply are things that don't add up, and if they did, we'd have no way of knowing with our limited perceptual capacities. So in reality, most of us operate on folklore, past experience, intuition and inspired fragments of insight, like the glinting of light on a metal fencepost as you speed by at 80 mph.

It's hard to get too puffed up with the importance of "my" knowledge, when all knowledge is tentative, conditional, and subject to interpretation. Still, I like to know the great stories about reality dreamed up by geniuses. They offer incredible insights into the invisible, like how families get along and why self-consciousness can both inhibit and enhance performance.
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Thanks, Gonz. I will check out the philosophy of science too.

One thing I've found is that any theory breaks down at some point in explaining reality. There simply are things that don't add up, and if they did, we'd have no way of knowing with our limited perceptual capacities. So in reality, most of us operate on folklore, past experience, intuition and inspired fragments of insight, like the glinting of light on a metal fencepost as you speed by at 80 mph.

It's hard to get too puffed up with the importance of "my" knowledge, when all knowledge is tentative, conditional, and subject to interpretation. Still, I like to know the great stories about reality dreamed up by geniuses. They offer incredible insights into the invisible, like how families get along and why self-consciousness can both inhibit and enhance performance.
Nolo, perhaps I'm off topic but reading this reminds me of the attraction that physics and mathematics held and continue to hold for me (in comparison to psychology for example). While they too have been shown to breakdown in describing reality they seem to continue to offer the best hope of ultimate truth. Perhaps the lack of a unified field theory should quash this hope but I think I'll hang on to it for a while. As Einstein said:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Einstein
The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religion.

post #66 of 87
I do believe Einstein was talking about skiing, even if he was not intending to. Beautiful, Si!
post #67 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I do believe Einstein was talking about skiing, even if he was not intending to. Beautiful, Si!
Hey, thanks for making this skiing relevant. I was worried it might be carted off to the lounge as a religious topic. On the other hand, for myself and I suspect many others here, skiing IS my religion. I should also perhaps include physics as my religion but its just that I spend so much time studying and practicing skiing - and besides reading an occasion newspaper arictle or a post by PhysicsMan, don't really do anything with physics (except live by its rules that is).
post #68 of 87
nolo: I have heard a more general description of the principle as "the observer changes the event." I tell the basketball moms this--fans have an influence on the outcome of a game.

Let's remember that in a "human environment", the observer changes nothing. It is the observed that changes his/her behaviour for reasons gonz mentioned already.

Therefore, whatever effect an observer has on our skiing, it is 100% created by us and thus has the potential to be 100% controlled by us. The photons in Heisenberg's principle do not have that luxury.
post #69 of 87
The effect on performance depends on who the observer(s) is (are), does it not, and how I rank next to them? If I am being observed by a novice, hey, I can feel like a hero. If I am trying out for the Demo Team, I had better be able to control my response to that kind of pressure or I'm not going to make it. Very few candidates can manage to stay serene in that competitive an environment. I am guessing none do, but some are better at acting.
post #70 of 87
Odd....

everytime I open this thread, I imagine David Bowie screaming:

"I don't want knowledge! I want certainty!"
post #71 of 87
I apologize, BigE. I have obfuscated once again in my quest for clarity.
post #72 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I apologize, BigE. I have obfuscated once again in my quest for clarity.
Oops! I should have ed!
post #73 of 87
Same here.
post #74 of 87

What Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
The effect on performance depends on who the observer(s) is (are), does it not, and how I rank next to them? If I am being observed by a novice, hey, I can feel like a hero. If I am trying out for the Demo Team, I had better be able to control my response to that kind of pressure or I'm not going to make it.
I might also observe it depends on your ability to move in and out of almost "trance like" zone of focus. IMHO the ability to enter that zone is often derived in our ability to trust in our skills. Can you focus on the execution or are you worrying about the outcome? A classical golf gambling gambit is to tell your opponent not to worry about the water. In reality the good player never even sees the water, they only see the target and then focus on the execution necessary to hit the target.

By the way-the correct response is "what water".

Another classical example is years ago in a major tournament it was either Nicklaus or Plamer who had a dog run across the green while hitting an approach shot. Later a reporter asked if the dog bothered him-he asked-"what dog".

Quote:
Very few candidates can manage to stay serene in that competitive an environment. I am guessing none do, but some are better at acting.
Put another way-all of us want to throw up all over ourselves. Some of us just hold it down better than others.
post #75 of 87
2 cents

It's not so much the audience, the expectation, or the events, But rather if we can free our actions from our thoughts.

Though it is suggested that concentration is beneficial, My own experience will suggest that even attention to the task at hand is only an applied discipline that allows our unconstrained selves to let go into the action at hand. A subterfuge.

This suggests that "If you are thinking about it, you are not performing at your very best" It might be good, but not your very best. Aren't all great performances accompanied by the sensation of a thoughtless mind? Peer pressure is but one more impediment to the freedom we pursue.
right in there with fear, doubt, apprehension (The yikes zone!)

CalG
post #76 of 87
Quote:
Aren't all great performances accompanied by the sensation of a thoughtless mind?
That should be needlepointed or something, Cal. An excellent observation.
post #77 of 87
Or

"Thought is a wonderful servant , but a lousy master"



I've never accepted the description of: "Man, the thinking animal".

My best understanding of how I work is that I respond best to
"feeling"

Think of it, ? How are you? .... I FEEL great.

How did such-and-such go?..... Good, It felt great. etc.
No one really gives a rats a.. what you think about. ;-)

It's hard to just give it up though.




CalG
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
The effect on performance depends on who the observer(s) is (are), does it not, and how I rank next to them? If I am being observed by a novice, hey, I can feel like a hero. If I am trying out for the Demo Team, I had better be able to control my response to that kind of pressure or I'm not going to make it. Very few candidates can manage to stay serene in that competitive an environment. I am guessing none do, but some are better at acting.
True, but we are still talking 100% control in your court. The observers have no input other than what you (the observed) make of it. Subtle difference, but definitely different than the Heisenberg principle.
post #79 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
True, but we are still talking 100% control in your court. The observers have no input other than what you (the observed) make of it. Subtle difference, but definitely different than the Heisenberg principle.
Exactly! This is one of the keys to getting there.
post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I apologize, BigE. I have obfuscated once again in my quest for clarity.
let's create a new word:

obfusclarity

that's what happens when you intend to clear things up but end up muddying the waters.

afraid I am guilty of that quite often, with my fondness for rabbit trails and distant connections.
post #81 of 87
Quick, send that in to The Atlantic!
post #82 of 87

Hang with them or not

Skiswift, consider that this woman's perceptions (and yours) could be right on.

"Emotional safety" may be a touchy-feely term, but people are driven by a variety of motivations and some of them are not in your best interest.

Some skiers, instructors and trainers are capable of unconditional regard and support even while raising the bar. Others have ego needs they gratify by engaging in a "one up-one down" view of the world. These people feel good by believing they're better than you and they exist at all levels of human pursuit. The best at it don't present overtly, but are subtle.

It's possible to intuit this. As they say, trust your intuition.

In a situation like a Demo Team tryout, this is a given. Your choice is to not compete, or to work on strengthening your tools and personal boundaries to achieve successful performance. Some people actually function better in this type of atmosphere.

But in an everyday skiing or training situation you can choose to hang or not.

I'd say ditch 'em.
post #83 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil
Put another way-all of us want to throw up all over ourselves. Some of us just hold it down better than others.

LOL - I LOVE this!!
I have actually been in a few situations where my only goal was to not throw up all over my shoes!!

Kind of reminds me of when I took my National Boards "clinical skills exam" this year. You need to pass in order to graduate, you've paid $900 just to be able to TAKE the exam, you've flown across the country to do it, there are videocameras and microphones in every exam room, there are two way mirrors in each room for observers to grade your technique, all of your notes are graded and even the "patients" (actors) have a sheet with which to grade your performance..... But there's no pressure... nope... just relax and act normally.............. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Gonna be sort of how I feel in the presence of all the "biggies" at Loveland:
post #84 of 87
Dr Frau...

Like when the doctor says (as preparing for doing a smear test) "just relax" ... I rolled my eyes & he had to answer "Yeah I know - STUPID comment"....

Re Gonz's theory that it is self doubt that is the problem - i think I agree with this.... I know that I was better after my instructor thumped it through my thick skull that assessing my skiing ability by comparing myself to a fairly select bunch of full cert instructors all of whom had >30years skiing experience was NOT a sensible scale .... I was bound to exist as a very small blip at the bottom of the graph they were on... NOT helpful for me...

Another phenomenon I find is whether I "trust" that instuctor.... if I do they can demand "stay on my tails" & I am pretty committed to simply that & will ski so much better.... if I think the instructor is an egotistical show-off I am likely to go "yeah sure" & simply putter down the hill as & how I see fit
post #85 of 87
Thread Starter 

Schadenfreude

Vera.....I think you are onto something. It does seem that some people take pleasure in the travails of others.....kind of a Zero Sum game, where if you are good, it diminishes my stature. So, some of us look for flaws in others as a way to bolster our self-image.

I think I instinctively sense this with some fellow skiers, and as you said, I tend to avoid them.

Last year I completed both parts of my Level 3, and at both exams, I tried to enhance group dymanics by trying to encourage my groups ,saying "This is not a competition, we can all pass. We have a better chance of passing if we work well together". It was interesting that at the skiing exam, only 1 person agreed with that, she and I worked together, giving feedback, suggestions etc... We were the only 2 in our group of 8 that passed.
post #86 of 87
There are three things that can happen:

1) Your skiing sucks
2) Nothing
3) You improve

Your skiing sucks because of performance anxiety -- you lack certainty.

Nothing, because you can ignore the audience -- you have certainty.

You improve, because you learn by watching, then doing -- you are learning.

It fits -- "I don't want knowledge! I want certainty!" (D. Bowie from "Earthling".)

post #87 of 87
You know it just hit me, I like to ski in the trees more than anywhere else.

Why?

One reason might be 'cause it's so hard to be concerned about how I am skiing, or how anyone else is skiing.

First, if the trees are tight, you can't see far, and certainly can't tell if the skiing is "good" or not. Well, one can draw opinions based on how long it take someone to get through a section. I do try to keep up!

Then too, If attention slips, WHACK! There are consequences!

CalG
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