Study: We Perform Better When We Have An Audience

Being in front of other people might get you nervous, but those nerves are good for your performance. Johns Hopkins University researchers had participants play a tricky computer game and found when watched by an audience, most participants did up to 20 percent better on the game than if they had been playing all alone. Brain scans revealed that when participants knew they were being watched, the parts of the brain linked to social awareness and reward worked with areas controlling motor skills to improve performance. Previous studies have shown that an audience drives people to do better as they are seeking “increased social approval by others.”