Predicting Wimbledon 2005 Tennis Results by Mere Player Name Recognition

Benjamin Scheibehenne and Arndt Bröder

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI:
Predicting Wimbledon 2005 Tennis Results by Mere Player Name Recognition

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The outcomes of matches in the 2005 Wimbledon Gentlemen's tennis competition were predicted by mere player name recognition. In a field study, amateur tennis players (n = 79) and laypeople (n = 105) indicated players' names they recognized, and predicted match outcomes. Predictions based on recognition rankings aggregated over all participants correctly predicted 70% of all matches. These recognition predictions were equal to or better than predictions based on official ATP rankings and the seedings of Wimbledon experts, while online betting odds led to more accurate forecasts. When applicable, individual amateurs and laypeople made accurate predictions by relying on individual name recognition. However, for cases in which individuals did not recognize either of the two players, their average prediction accuracy across all matches was low. The study shows that simple heuristics that rely on a few valid cues can lead to highly accurate forecasts.

Keywords: sports forecasting; simple heuristics; recognition; betting odds; tennis

Chapter.  5862 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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