Job Talk: Performance in competitions: Psychological effects*

Room 3208
Wed, 27/07/202211:00-12:30
Uri Zak

Title: Performance in competitions: Psychological effects*

I will present two different projects studying psychological factors that affect competitive performance using field data from tournament chess. This abstract motivates the questions to be discussed. Relevant data will be presented in the talk.

The lions-foxes dilemma. When choosing which jobs to take, universities to attend, or markets to enter, individuals often face the trade-off between being a big fish in a small pond and a small fish in a big pond. Tournament chess allows studying this issue because choices between different-level competitions are common and identifiable, and performance measures are detailed and consider competitors’ skills.

Competition-location effects. Game location affects performance in sports: Individuals and teams tend to perform better at home than away from home, a phenomenon commonly attributed to the active local crowd and its effects on players and referees. However, does such home advantage exist without an active crowd and referees? This question relates to human territoriality and competitive performance and is relevant to different undertakings such as negotiations or business travels. Tournament chess provides an ideal setting to study this issue because it involves silent audiences and officials who hardly make any judgment.


*The presentation will be given in Hebrew.