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Forecasting the fast and frugal way: A study of performance and information-processing strategies of experts and non-experts when predicting the World Cup 2002 in soccer


  • Andersson, Patric

    () (Center for economic psychology)

  • Ekman, Mattias

    () (Stockholm Health Economics AB)

  • Edman, Jan

    () (Penn State University)


This paper investigates forecasting performance and judgmental processes of experts and non-experts in soccer. Two circumstances motivated the paper: (i) little is known about how accurately experts predict sports events, and (ii) recent research on human judgment suggests that ignorance-based decision-strategies may be reliable. About 250 participants with different levels of knowledge of soccer took part in a survey and predicted the outcome of the first round of World Cup 2002. It was found that the participating experts (i.e., sport journalists, soccer fans, and soccer coaches) were not more accurate than the non-experts. Experts overestimated their performance and were overconfident. While the experts claimed to have relied on analytical approaches and much information, participants with limited knowledge stated that their forecasts were based upon recognition and few pieces of information. The paper concludes that a recognition-based strategy seems to be appropriate when forecasting worldwide soccer events.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Patric & Ekman, Mattias & Edman, Jan, 2003. "Forecasting the fast and frugal way: A study of performance and information-processing strategies of experts and non-experts when predicting the World Cup 2002 in soccer," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2003:9, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:hastba:2003_009
    Note: Submitted for publication

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sundali, James A. & Atkins, Allen B., 1994. "Expertise in Investment Analysis: Fact or Fiction," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 223-241, August.
    2. Gigerenzer, Gerd & Todd, Peter M. & ABC Research Group,, 2000. "Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195143812, June.
    3. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 2003. "Predicting the outcomes of National Football League games," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 257-270.
    4. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 1999. "Are sports seedings good predictors?: an evaluation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 83-91, February.
    5. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2002. "Online Investors: Do the Slow Die First?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 455-488, March.
    6. Forrest, David & Simmons, Robert, 2000. "Forecasting sport: the behaviour and performance of football tipsters," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 317-331.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Rules, not judgment
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2006-05-15 17:21:14


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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson, Patric & Edman, Jan & Ekman, Mattias, 2005. "Predicting the World Cup 2002 in soccer: Performance and confidence of experts and non-experts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 565-576.
    2. Erceg, Nikola & Galić, Zvonimir, 2014. "Overconfidence bias and conjunction fallacy in predicting outcomes of football matches," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 52-62.

    More about this item


    Expert predictions; Information use; Judgmental forecasting; Overconfidence; Recognition heuristic; Sports forecasting;

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