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Humphrey's law


Quick Reference

The proposition that consciously thinking about one's performance of a task that involves automatic processing impairs one's performance of it. For example, golfers who think too closely about their golf swings may find that they cannot swing properly, and a man who thinks too closely about how he knots a bow tie may find that he cannot do it. See also centipede effect, hyper-reflection. [Named after the English psychologist George Humphrey (1889–1966) who propounded it in 1951]


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