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The N-Effect: Beyond Winning Probabilities

Avishalom Tor

Notre Dame Law School; University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

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

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Date posted: November 10, 2009 ; Last revised: January 5, 2010

Suggested Citation

Tor, Avishalom and Garcia, Stephen M., The N-Effect: Beyond Winning Probabilities (November 9, 2009). Psychological Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1502856

Contact Information

Avishalom Tor (Contact Author)
Notre Dame Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )
Mount Carmel
Haifa, IN IN 31905
Stephen M. Garcia
University of Michigan ( email )
741 Dennison Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-615-2561 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/stephen.garcia
Feedback to SSRN

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