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Why Students struggle under Pressure? Pressure of performance and Pleasing others!!

working memory, students struggle pressure, performance , students, Exams ,intellectual load , aptitude ,short term memory

Why Students Struggle Under Pressure ? Pressure of Performance ! -

You Need Stress in Your Life!
Stress adds flavor, challenge and opportunity to life.
Without stress, life would be dull and unexciting.
However, too much stress can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being.

Recurrent physical and psychological stress can diminish self-esteem, decrease interpersonal and academic effectiveness and create a cycle of self-blame and self-doubt.

It is important for your health that you find the optimal level of stress that you can learn to manage effectively.

Stress is unique and personal to each of us. What is relaxing to one person may be stressful to another.

One person may find "taking it easy" at the beach relaxing while another may find it boring.

The key to stress reduction is identifying strategies that fit you as an individual.

Signs of Stress
The best way to cope with unhealthy stress is to recognize when your stress levels are building.

While we often think of stress as the result of external events, the events themselves are not necessarily stressful.

It is the way in which each individual interprets and reacts to an event that produces stress.

People vary significantly in the type of events they experience as stressful and the way that they respond to these events. Public speaking is a good example: while some people see it as routine, others experience it as highly stressful.

Stress Signals
Stress "signals" fall into four categories: thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical symptoms. When you are under stress you may experience:
1.Anxiety,
2.irritability,
3.fear,
4.moodiness,
5.embarassment
6.Self-criticism,
7.difficulty concentrating or making decisions,
8.forgetfulness or mental disorganization,
9.preoccupation with the future,
10.repetitive thoughts,
11.fear of failure.
12.Stuttering or other speech difficulties,
13.crying,
14.Acting impulsively,
15.nervous laughter, "snapping": at friends,
16.teeth grinding or jaw clenching,
17.incrased smoking,
18.alcohol or other drug use,
19.being prone to more accidents,
20.increased or decreased appetite.
21.Tight muscles,
22.cold or sweaty hands, headaches,
23.back or neck problems,
24.sleep disturbances,
25.stomach distress,
26.more colds and infections,
27.fatigue,
28.rapid breathing or pounding heart,
29.trembling, dry mouth.

Sources of Stress for COLLEGE STUDENTS:

Stress is a part of every student's daily life. Your personal stress requirements and the amount which you can tolerate before you become distressed varies with your life situation and your age. As a college student, the greatest sources of events you experience as stressful are likely to be relationships, academic and social situations, environment and lifestyle.

Leaving home or commuting daily, managing finances, living with room mates and juggling a job, classes, and relationships all contribute to the normal stress of being at the University.

It is also not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed and anxious about wasting time, meeting high standards or being lonely.

Fear of Performance:

Every where at schools students are engaged in that most routine custom: sweating exams.

Who is most affected? Good or Mediocre?
And in a new study of math testing, psychologists are reporting that intense exam pressure is likely to impair the performance of very good students than others.

Pressure to please others:
Rushed, worried about pleasing others, these students can lose their most valuable intellectual asset: short-term or working memory,the ability to keep numbers and thoughts in a kind of holding pattern while focusing on the problem at hand.

Motivated students whose working memories are less powerful are less likely to fold under exam pressure, the study found.

What impairs intellectual performance ?

Better kids should do better right?

"The finding makes very little sense on one level; the better kids should do better, right?" he said. "But we know from other work that this is what happens on some tasks: You put some extra intellectual load on people with these skills, and their performance just drops off."

Short term memory - Mental Food processor:

In recent years, psychologists have refined the notion of short-term memory. Once thought to be a kind of intellectual bread basket that could hold one, several or many numbers and words depending on its size, it is now described as more like a mental food processor that helps shape ingredients while keeping the mind focused on that task at hand.

Short term word processor:

People with strong working-memory skills tend to rate high on intellectual aptitude, experts say, because analytical skills and creative thinking depend on this short-term-focused processor.

Testing Michigan under Graduates:
In the study, Dr. Sian Beilock of Miami University of Ohio and Dr. Thomas Carr of Michigan State University tested the working-memory capacities of 93 Michigan undergraduates, and split them into two groups, a high-functioning working-memory group and a low one.

The students then took two other math tests, under vastly different conditions. One was called a practice test. In the other, the students were told they were part of a team that was depending on them to improve their score in order to win a monetary reward.

Striking results:
The results were striking: the group with high working memory scored about 10 percent better than the others on the low-pressure practice test, but the two groups' scores were about equal when the heat was on to perform.

Environment and validity:
"The main finding is that the environment in which people take a test may diminish its validity," said Dr. Beilock.

Fend off dread of failure:
Out in the world, or at least in the classroom, some students with good working-memory abilities clearly phase out the effects of the pressure and perform very well.

But Dr. Beilock said the study showed how fragile this short-term intellectual machinery was when students were asked not only to concentrate an unwavering mental beam but to fend off dread of failure, a ticking clock and self-doubt.

Less working memory is less affected:
The students with less working memory are less affected by the pressure because they are probably relying on less taxing techniques to handle problems, the researchers argue.

These students may do more estimating than careful computation; they may see patterns in the problems and apply those; they may guess more often than their peers.

But one of the most effective ways to shield intellectual skills from the SWING of pressure, competition and grade fixation is to make the problem-solving strategies needed to perform well more automatic.

"Once a skill has been trained up to a point, the differences in working memory become less important, and you're not as vulnerable,"

This is what is called " STUDYING ".


C.EASHWER – SINGAPORE
Published: 2006-04-13
Author: Chockalingam Eswaramurthi

About the author or the publisher
Iam a Professional writer dedicated to sharing the knowledge on topics of Public interest, be it Management , Leadership , Social service , World Politics , Personalities , Industries , Health , Computers , Policy making , Governments , Book review etc., Iam from Singapore . My e mail id is : eashwer@pacific.net.sg

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