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Is There Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments?

  • Francesco Feri


  • Alessandro Innocenti


  • Paolo Pin


This paper provides laboratory evidence 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.

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Paper provided by University of Siena in its series Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena with number 044.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:044
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  1. 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.
  2. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2011. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," Discussion Papers 2011001, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
  3. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2008. "Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Economics Working Papers 1116, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. 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.
  6. Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?," IZA Discussion Papers 1905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Bar-Eli, Michael & Azar, Ofer H. & Ritov, Ilana & Keidar-Levin, Yael & Schein, Galit, 2005. "Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers: The case of penalty kicks," MPRA Paper 4477, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  9. 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.
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