Forecasting from ignorance : the use and usefulness of recognition in lay predictions of sports events

Pachur, Thorsten and Biele, Guido. (2007) Forecasting from ignorance : the use and usefulness of recognition in lay predictions of sports events. Acta psychologica : international journal of psychonomics, 1.

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Whereas previous studies on how people make forecasts of sports events focused primarily on experts, we examined how laypeople do this task. In particular, we (a) tested the recognition heuristic [Goldstein, D. G., & Gigerenzer, G. (2002). Models of ecological rationality: the recognition heuristic. Psychological Review, 109, 75–90], which requires partial ignorance, against four alternative mechanisms in describing laypeople’s forecasts for the European Soccer Championships 2004; (b) evaluated how well recognition predicted the outcomes of the matches compared to direct indicators of team strength (e.g., past performance, rankings); and (c) studied the less-is-more eVect—the phenomenon that knowing less leads to more correct forecasts than knowing more—which can occur when the recognition heuristic is used. Two groups of participants (laypeople, experts) made forecasts for the Wrst-round matches of the tournament. Of the Wve candidate mechanisms, the recognition heuristic predicted laypeople’s forecasts best: when applicable, it accounted for 90% of the forecasts. The recognition heuristic correctly predicted the actual winner of the matches substantially better than chance but did not achieve the accuracy of direct indicators of team strength. The experts made more correct forecasts than the laypeople. Moreover, we found no beneWt of ignorance among the group of laypeople, although the conditions for a less-is-more eVect speciWed by Goldstein and Gigerenzer were fulWlled.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Hertwig)
UniBasel Contributors:Pachur, Thorsten
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Oct 2017 15:20
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:15

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