Differential reliance on performance outliers in athletic self-assessment

Corey L. Guenther, Sarah G. Taylor, Mark D. Alicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The current studies tested the hypothesis that, despite experiencing high rates of performance failure, athletes maintain positive ability perceptions by basing assessments of their ability on peak, rarely occurring performances rather than on their more typically occurring base rate averages. Findings from two studies support this assertion. Study 1 showed that collegiate baseball players perceived their best-ever hitting performance to better represent their true hitting ability than their worst-ever performance, despite the latter being far more reflective of their objective batting average. Study 2 replicated this effect among college softball players, and demonstrated further that low-performing athletes were the most severely miscalibrated in their ability perceptions. Implications for coaches, trainers, and practitioners committed to helping athletes develop are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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