Personality & performance under pressure

Can a person’s personality influence performance under pressure? The simple answer is yes. In 1993, Rich Masters developed the “Reinvestment” Questionnaire. This questionnaire aimed to measure a person’s predisposition towards rehearsing task-relevant explicit knowledge when performing a skill in an attempt to consciously control movements. The theory is that individuals who attempt to monitor and control their movements are more likely to fail under pressure.

In 2005, the questionnaire was converted to a Movement Specific Reinvestment (MSR) Questionnaire. Essentially the questionnaire changed so that it was specific to everyday movement.


Scores on the MSR questionnaire consistently correlate with poorer performance under pressure for many sport skills, including golf putting and hockey dribbling. Recently this relationship has extended to the performance of surgical skills.

Knowing a person’s likelihood of reinvesting can help coaches and practitioners develop individualised strategies to help prevent poorer performance under pressure.



Masters, R. S. W., Eves, F. F., & Maxwell, J. P. (2005). Development of a movement specific Reinvestment Scale. In 11th World Congress of Sport Psychology. International Society of Sport Psychology.
Masters, R. S. W., Polman, R. C., & Hammond, N. V. (1993). ‘Reinvestment’: A dimension of personality implicated in skill breakdown under pressure. Personality and individual differences, 14(5), 655-666.


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