Social facilitation and inhibition

I feel like psychology has a term for every mundane phenomenon that occurs in our lives. For example, think back to the last time you were learning to do something awesome — some little trick, a new move, part of a song, whatever — and you’ve got it down oh-so-close in practice. We’ll call the desired results “X.”

X, also known as "You wish."

So you call some friends over: “Guys, check this out!” to show off your almost-there skills. But wait… what’s this? instead of X, it seems to be… well, we’ll call it “Y.”

Y. As in, "Your sorry ass totally just screwed it up."

Whoa, what the hell happened? Well apparently, social psychology has these phenomena called “social inhibition” and “social facilitation.” Social facilitation is the reason people who actually know what the hell they’re doing get pumped up by the crowd, go wild, and kick major ass. You, however, are a pathetic wanna-be who hasn’t yet mastered anything, and your situation is made worse by social inhibition.

Basically, an expert’s performance is improved by people watching, while those same people will totally screw an amateur over. So before you start gathering an audience and whoring all that attention, you’d better get that shit down pat.


This is how you'll look in front of all your friends.


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