21 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017 Last revised: 21 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 19, 2017
Personal bests act as reference points. Examining 133 million chess games, we find that players exert effort to set new personal-best ratings and quit once they have done so. Though specific and difficult goals have been shown to inspire greater motivation than vague pronouncements to “do your best,” doing one’s best can be a specific and difficult goal — and as we show, motivates in a manner predicted by loss aversion.
Keywords: Reference Points, Loss Aversion, Personal Bests, Field Data
JEL Classification: D80, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Anderson, Ashton and Green, Etan A., Personal Bests as Reference Points (April 19, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953340