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Abstract or Description

Psychologists and economists assert that discouragement plays an important role in determining how individuals respond to adversity. For example, regions with high persistent unemployment are linked with higher numbers of discouraged workers who stop looking for work altogether (Sandmeyer and Larkin, 1970). A study by Dernberg and Strand also found that some groups who may have a harder time obtaining employment, such as women, the very old, and the very young show higher levels of labor discouragement during times of high unemployment (Dernberg and Strand, 1966). Similarly in the realm of education, biases favoring boys in elementary school can lead to discouragement among girls and negatively impact their achievement in middle and high school (Lavy and Sand, 2015). However, less is known about the role of discouragement in high stakes situations with professionals or experts. This paper asks whether professionals in high stakes scenarios are prone to costly discouragement in the context of professional athletic performance.


Advisor: Saurabh Bhargava

Department of Social and Decision Sciences

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