Heuristics Driving Optimism in Sports

The answers to our recent poll show that 71% of the people who voted believe that football ‘is coming home’. Some potential heuristics driving this optimism are:

The desirability bias, namely, a person’s tendency to be over-optimistic about a future outcome they want to happen.

The hot hand phenomenon which leads people to believe that a team who experiences a successful outcome has a greater chance of success in subsequent matches.

The home crowd advantage which lends the home team an advantage due to: the convenience; the home team’s familiarity with the pitch, which could give them physical cues to remember their training; and the pressure from the home crowd which has been shown to influence how lenient the referee is with the home team (as has been demonstrated by the debatable England penalty decision vs. Denmark).

Though there are heuristics driving our optimism, this does not mean that England cannot win against Italy; so feel free to keep your fingers crossed. Either way it should be a good match.

If you have any questions on this topic, or how Impact’s behavioural science team could help you with your market research projects, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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