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Is there psychological pressure in competitive environments?

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  • Feri, Francesco
  • Innocenti, Alessandro
  • Pin, Paolo

Abstract

This paper provides evidence from a field experiment on the effect of psychological pressure in competitive environments. In our experiment, we analyze a setup of sequential tournaments, in which participants are matched in pairs and experience a kind of pressure that, as in most real world professional tasks, is not perceived as uncommon or exceptional. We do not find support for the first-mover advantage, while we obtain that second-movers perform significantly better under psychological pressure. Moreover we find that psychological pressure affects heterogeneously the performance of the subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Feri, Francesco & Innocenti, Alessandro & Pin, Paolo, 2013. "Is there psychological pressure in competitive environments?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 249-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:39:y:2013:i:c:p:249-256
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2013.09.003
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    1. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
    2. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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    4. Bar-Eli, Michael & Azar, Ofer H. & Ritov, Ilana & Keidar-Levin, Yael & Schein, Galit, 2007. "Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers: The case of penalty kicks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 606-621, October.
    5. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2012. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 469-503, February.
    6. González-Díaz, Julio & Gossner, Olivier & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Performing best when it matters most: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 767-781.
    7. Martin G. Kocher & Marc V. Lenz & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1585-1591, August.
    8. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    9. Francesco Feri & Alessandro Innocenti & Paolo Pin, 2011. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from A Randomized Natural Experiment: Comment," Working Papers 2011-03, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Lindner, 2017. "Choking under pressure of top performers: Evidence from biathlon competitions," Working Papers 2017-24, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Morgulev, Elia & Azar, Ofer H. & Galily, Yair & Bar-Eli, Michael, 2020. "The role of initial success in competition: An analysis of early lead effects in NBA overtimes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    3. Bühren, Christoph & Steinberg, Philip J., 2019. "The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 12-29.
    4. Alex Krumer & Reut Megidish & Aner Sela, 2017. "First-mover advantage in round-robin tournaments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(3), pages 633-658, March.
    5. Colella, Fabrizio & Dalton, Patricio & Giusti, G., 2018. "You'll Never Walk Alone : The Effect of Moral Support on Performance," Other publications TiSEM 1dac53ca-9483-48f5-84b0-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Marius Ötting & Christian Deutscher & Sandra Schneemann & Roland Langrock & Sebastian Gehrmann & Hendrik Scholten, 2020. "Performance under pressure in skill tasks: An analysis of professional darts," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(2), pages 1-21, February.
    7. Arrondel, Luc & Duhautois, Richard & Laslier, Jean-François, 2019. "Decision under psychological pressure: The shooter's anxiety at the penalty kick," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 22-35.
    8. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Gender Differences in Reaction to Psychological Pressure: Evidence from Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 9315, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Kassis, Mark & Schmidt, Sascha L. & Schreyer, Dominik & Sutter, Matthias, 2020. "Psychological Pressure and the Right to Determine the Moves in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 13628, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Christoph Bühren & Philip J. Steinberg, 2017. "The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201705, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. Brady, Ryan R. & Insler, Michael A., 2019. "Order of play advantage in sequential tournaments: Evidence from randomized settings in professional golf," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 79-92.
    12. Bucciol, Alessandro & Castagnetti, Alessandro, 2020. "Choking under pressure in archery," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    13. Bühren, Christoph & Kadriu, Valon, 2020. "The fairness of long and short ABBA-sequences: A basketball free-throw field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    14. Feri, Francesco & Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A. & Ponti, Giovanni & Vega-Redondo, Fernando & Yu, Haihan, 2020. "Pooling or fooling? An experiment on signaling," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 582-596.
    15. Christoph Buehren & Lisa Traeger, 2020. "The Impact of Psychological Pressure and Psychological Traits on Performance – Experimental Evidence of Penalties in Handball," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202043, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sequential tournaments; Experiment; Psychological pressure; Competitive environments; First-mover advantage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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