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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2003:9:
Forecasting the fast and frugal way: A study of performance and information-processing strategies of experts and non-experts when predicting the World Cup 2002 in soccer

Patric Andersson (), Mattias Ekman () and Jan Edman ()

Abstract: This paper investigates forecasting performance and judgmental processes of experts and non-experts in soccer. Two circumstances motivated the paper: (i) little is known about how accurately experts predict sports events, and (ii) recent research on human judgment suggests that ignorance-based decision-strategies may be reliable. About 250 participants with different levels of knowledge of soccer took part in a survey and predicted the outcome of the first round of World Cup 2002. It was found that the participating experts (i.e., sport journalists, soccer fans, and soccer coaches) were not more accurate than the non-experts. Experts overestimated their performance and were overconfident. While the experts claimed to have relied on analytical approaches and much information, participants with limited knowledge stated that their forecasts were based upon recognition and few pieces of information. The paper concludes that a recognition-based strategy seems to be appropriate when forecasting worldwide soccer events.

Keywords: Expert predictions; Information use; Judgmental forecasting; Overconfidence; Recognition heuristic; Sports forecasting; (follow links to similar papers)

26 pages, May 17, 2003

Submitted for publication

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