Investigating the Conditions for Psychological Momentum in the Field: Evidence From Men’s Professional Tennis

27 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2019

See all articles by Philippe Meier

Philippe Meier

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration

Raphael Flepp

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Maximilian Rüdisser

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Egon P. Franck

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: August 12, 2019

Abstract

We examine how interruptions and personal and contextual factors affect the manifestation of psychological momentum (PM). Using men’s singles tennis point-by-point data from the two Grand Slam tournaments, Wimbledon and Roland Garros, between 2009 and 2014 (N=29,934), we employ realized break points as the potential triggers of PM and rest periods between two sequential games as the exogenous task interruptions. Controlling for player ability and the state of the match, we find that players are more likely to win the next game after realizing a break point only if there is no rest period between games. Thus, our results suggest that interruptions terminate the momentum effect. Furthermore, we find that the effect of PM increases for players with a lesser relative ability and at a later stage within a match, showing the importance of personal and contextual factors for PM.

Keywords: Psychological Momentum, Performance, Interruption, Behavioral Economics, Tennis

JEL Classification: D83, D91, L83

Suggested Citation

Meier, Philippe and Flepp, Raphael and Rüdisser, Maximilian and Franck, Egon P., Investigating the Conditions for Psychological Momentum in the Field: Evidence From Men’s Professional Tennis (August 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3438123

Philippe Meier (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zurich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Raphael Flepp

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

Maximilian Rüdisser

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Affolternstrasse 56
Zurich, Zurich 8050
Switzerland

Egon P. Franck

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich 8032
Switzerland
+41 1 634 28 45 (Phone)

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