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The Impact of Pressure on Performance: Evidence from the PGA Tour

39 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2014 Last revised: 23 Feb 2015

Daniel C. Hickman

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics

Neil E Metz

University of Central Oklahoma - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2015

Abstract

Do large rewards lead to psychological pressure causing underperformance? Previous studies have tested this ‘choking’ phenomenon using the world of sports, but such studies often lack an explicit link between performance and reward. This study utilizes a large PGA TOUR dataset to more directly analyze the effect of pressure on individual performance by calculating the potential change in earnings from making or missing a putt on the final hole of a tournament. We find that as the amount of money riding on a shot increases, the likelihood that shot is made is significantly reduced.

Keywords: choking, psychological pressure, performance incentives

JEL Classification: D03, J33, L83

Suggested Citation

Hickman, Daniel C. and Metz, Neil E, The Impact of Pressure on Performance: Evidence from the PGA Tour (February 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2479015

Daniel C. Hickman

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics ( email )

Moscow, ID 83944-3174
United States

Neil E Metz (Contact Author)

University of Central Oklahoma - Department of Economics ( email )

Edmond, OK 73034
United States

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