Can We Really Trust Our Intuition When Making Difficult Decisions?

Can We Really Trust Our Intuition When Making Difficult Decisions?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes It’s said that we make dozens (or thousands1) of decisions every day. From the relatively mundane (hmm…can I trust this food cart’s hot dogs?) to the more momentous decisions that feel like they could take us down very different paths in life (umm…which college should I go to?). The simple decisions don’t generally keep us up at night (unless you make the wrong decision about the hot dogs), but we can easily get overwhelmed and feel lost when…


Two Different Kinds of Nerves? How One Type Helps and the Other Type…Not so Much

Two Different Kinds of Nerves? How One Type Helps and the Other Type…Not so Much

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Though it’s been many years since, I can still remember a few occasions where I was nervous for days in advance of a performance, but ended up having a great experience, and playing really well. Where once I got on stage, my nerves had more of a positive, excited, “let’s do this” kind of feel. On the flip side, I can also remember plenty of performances where I not only crashed and burned, but felt miserable throughout. Where the nerves had…


Could This Working Memory Exercise Help Offset the Effect of Nerves on Performance?

Could This Working Memory Exercise Help Offset the Effect of Nerves on Performance?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes A missed shift….a cracked note…a section that felt out of control. Argh! Have you ever noticed how when you reflect on a recent performance, the issues that come to mind most readily are technical, rather than mental? I mean sure, there will always be sections in need of more woodshedding and technical detective work before the next performance. But research has begun to paint an increasingly clear picture about the role that cognitive factors…


Stereotype Threat: The Paradox of Becoming Exactly What You’re Trying to Prove That You’re Not. (Huh?!)

Stereotype Threat: The Paradox of Becoming Exactly What You’re Trying to Prove That You’re Not. (Huh?!)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Nowadays, screened orchestral auditions are the norm. But it wasn’t so long ago that the audition process was more overtly biased, or even conducted privately (as described in this 1981 article in the NY Times). So when renowned horn player Julie Landsman auditioned for - and won - the principal horn position at the Met in 1985, she defied some common gender stereotypes held at the time, and became the first female member of the brass section…