What Shapes Young Elite Athletes’ Perception of Chances in an Environment of Great Uncertainty?
44 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2012
Date Written: November 1, 2012
Unrealistic optimism is a commonly observed bias in the perception of chances. In this paper, we examine whether the bias is also present among young elite soccer players (10 to 23 years old) who receive regular objective feedback through external assessments. Utilizing a large unique data set of almost 1600 individuals allows us to explore the empirical validation of the ipsative theory of human behavior. In particular, we analyze how factors such as age or experience, education, peer group performance, and the level of integration into culture exert influence over young elite athletes’ perceived chance of becoming a professional player. Working with a homogeneous dataset of individuals possessing similar characteristics and professional goals allows us to control for and isolate (unobserved) factors that may shape perceptions.
Keywords: perception of chances, unrealistic optimism, ipsative possibility set, integration effects, soccer
JEL Classification: L83, D81, D03, J15
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