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Optimism Bias in Fans and Sports Reporters

Love, BC; Kopeć, Ł; Guest, O; (2015) Optimism Bias in Fans and Sports Reporters. PLoS One , 10 (9) , Article e0137685. 10.1371/journal.pone.0137685. Green open access

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Abstract

People are optimistic about their prospects relative to others. However, existing studies can be difficult to interpret because outcomes are not zero-sum. For example, one person avoiding cancer does not necessitate that another person develops cancer. Ideally, optimism bias would be evaluated within a closed formal system to establish with certainty the extent of the bias and the associated environmental factors, such that optimism bias is demonstrated when a population is internally inconsistent. Accordingly, we asked NFL fans to predict how many games teams they liked and disliked would win in the 2015 season. Fans, like ESPN reporters assigned to cover a team, were overly optimistic about their team's prospects. The opposite pattern was found for teams that fans disliked. Optimism may flourish because year-to-year team results are marked by auto-correlation and regression to the group mean (i.e., good teams stay good, but bad teams improve).

Type: Article
Title: Optimism Bias in Fans and Sports Reporters
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137685
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137685
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Love et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472785
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