Brain Freeze is that sensation we get when we seem unable to think. One moment everything is fine and the next we seem unable to think clearly.
Working memory is about our mental capacity. The ability to mentally juggle more elements. Useful in mathematics or unscrambling complex issues.
This research shows that people with higher working memory are more susceptible to brain freeze.
Here’s an excerpt form the article in the BPS website:
“Researchers at the University of Chicago and Michigan State University attempted to find out more about why this happens. Their results suggest that actually it’s only a subgroup of high working memory people who have this problem and it’s because of their high distractibility. These high ability chokers or brain freeze victims are “typically reliant on their higher working memory resources for advanced problem solving” but their poor attentional control renders them easily distracted by anxiety, causing their usual mental deftness to break down when the pressure is on.”
So what can we take from this? Maybe that when we ask these people to work on a problem we give create a low pressure situation. We protect them from any pressure that exists because in fact they will solve the challenge quicker and more effectively. We know that more analytical people tend not to like pressure, but this research takes it further.
As a manager we need how to manage these people in a way that allows them to use their strengths and not be distracted.