Can You Handle High Expectations When Encountering an Early Setback? The Moderating Role of Trait Resilience

40 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2023

See all articles by Julian Nuessle

Julian Nuessle

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Kerstin Pull

University of Tuebingen - School of Business and Economics

Date Written: September 29, 2023

Abstract

When favorites in a competition encounter early setbacks, they experience a discrepancy between high performance expectations and low initial performance, potentially increasing the likelihood of underperforming. To the contrary, underdogs showing low initial performance in a competition do not experience this discrepancy. In our paper, we theoretically and empirically explore to what extent trait resilience moderates the link between high performance expectations, early setbacks and performance. In a field study using a regression discontinuity design and analyzing 143,264 table tennis games, we find low resilient individuals who face high performance expectations and encounter poor initial performance to perform discontinu-ously worse than low resilient individuals who face low performance expectations and encounter poor initial performance. For high resilient individuals who encounter poor initial perfor-mance there is, however, no discontinuity between favorites and underdogs.

Keywords: high performance expectations, performance, early setbacks, trait resilience

Suggested Citation

Nuessle, Julian and Pull, Kerstin, Can You Handle High Expectations When Encountering an Early Setback? The Moderating Role of Trait Resilience (September 29, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4587741 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4587741

Julian Nuessle (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Nauklerstraße 47
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany

Kerstin Pull

University of Tuebingen - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Nauklerstr. 47
Tuebingen, D-72074
Germany

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