Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Predicting World Cup results: Do goals seem more likely when they pay off?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Maya Bar-Hillel
  • David V. Budescu
  • Moty Amar
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    In a series of experiments, Bar-Hillel and Budescu (1995) failed to find a desirability bias in probability estimation. The World Cup soccer tournament (of 2002 and 2006) provided an opportunity to revisit the phenomenon, in a context where wishful thinking and desirability bias are notoriously rampant (e.g., Babad, 1991). Participants estimated the probabilities of various teams to win their upcoming games. They were promised money if one particular team, randomly designated by the experimenter, would win its upcoming game. Participants judged their target team more likely to win than other participants, whose promised monetary reward was contingent on the victory of its rival team. Prima facie this seems to be a desirability bias. However, in a follow-up study we made one team salient, without promising monetary rewards, by simply stating that it is "of special interest". Again participants judged their target team more likely to win than other participants, whose "team of special interest" was the rival team. Moreover, the magnitude of the two effects was very similar. On grounds of parsimony, we conclude that what seemed like a desirability bias may just be a salience/marking effect, and -- though optimism is a robust and ubiquitous human phenomenon -- wishful thinking still remains elusive.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp448.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp448.

    as in new window
    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2008, vol. 15, pp. 278-283.
    Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp448

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem
    Phone: +972-2-6584135
    Fax: +972-2-6513681
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp448. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilan Nehama).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.