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The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Christoph Bühren

    () (University of Kassel)

  • Philip J. Steinberg

    () (University of Wuppertal)

Abstract

In order to analyze if heterogeneity in psychological traits affects individual performance in sequential tournaments, we conducted a tennis field experiment. In the experiment, we also varied the payment schemes (individual, team, competition) to control for moderating effects of different incentives. Team incentives, risk taking, and self-esteem reduced performance whereas a preference towards competition enhanced it. On average, we observe a second mover advantage. However, individuals’ psychological traits, such as self-esteem or self-efficacy, can turn a second mover into a first mover advantage. Our results shed new light on the discussion of first vs. second mover advantages and performance under pressure. Study findings have implications for psychological requirements of competitive and team tasks in business settings.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201705
    as

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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2017/05-2017_buehren.pdf
    File Function: First 201705
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Performance under pressure; experiment; psychological traits; second mover advantage; tennis; sequential tournaments;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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