Alone against the crowd: Individual differences in referees' ability to cope under pressure
This paper contributes to the recent debate about the role of referees in the home advantage phenomenon. Specifically, it aims to provide a convincing answer to the newly posed question of the existence of individual differences among referees in terms of the home advantage ([Boyko et al., 2007] and [Johnston, 2008]). Using multilevel modelling on a large and representative dataset we find that (1) the home advantage effect differs significantly among referees, and (2) this relationship is moderated by the size of the crowd. These new results suggest that a part of the home advantage is due to the effect of the crowd on the referees, and that some referees are more prone to be influenced by the crowd than others. This provides strong evidence to indicate that referees are a significant contributing factor to the home advantage. The implications of these findings are discussed both in terms of the relevant social psychological research, and with respect to the selection, assessment, and training of referees.
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