The N-Effect: Beyond Winning Probabilities
Notre Dame Law School
Stephen M. Garcia
University of Michigan
November 9, 2009
Psychological Science, Forthcoming
The N-effect reveals that the motivation to compete increases as the number of competitors decreases, controlling for overall expected payoffs (Garcia and Tor, 2009). In their thoughtful commentary, Mukherjee and Hogarth (in press) astutely reason that, given ability differences in the population, the greater sampling error (SE) in small-N settings increases weaker competitors' individual probability of winning, potentially causing a motivation gain on their part. The present commentary explains why SE is an unlikely theoretical account for Garcia and Tor's (2009) N-effect findings and experimentally demonstrates the persistence of the N-effect where an SE effect should not appear.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Motivation, Competition, Judgement, Social Comparison
JEL Classification: C70, D70, K21, C91, C93
Date posted: November 10, 2009 ; Last revised: January 5, 2010
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