Psychological momentum among non-experts: Evidence from club golfers Authors


This study examines the link between psychological momentum and performance. In sporting settings, the notion that prior performance may influence future outcomes is a familiar one to fans and athletes alike. However, the identification of a causal relationship between psychological momentum and subsequent performance is complicated by the need to control for the ability of a player and the situational context. Furthermore, studies focused on professional athletes may understate results due to the well-practiced nature of such individuals. To address these challenges, we develop a novel method of isolating the effects of a change in psychological momentum. Using data from club golf competitions, we find evidence of a cold-hand effect among both male and female players. We also find evidence of a hot-hand effect among male players only. Investigations into the individual playing characteristics that drive psychological momentum reveal that male players who can keep a cool head during periods of success and failure perform better. Conversely, males who are prone to cold-hand effects perform worse. Our results can be placed in context with the existing literature, which primarily examines professional athletes.

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 104, 102016