It was a simple experiment that explored tennis players’ estimates of their ability to hit tennis serves into target areas.
Every player had 10 serves at each of two target areas. One was a difficult target area which players hit successfully about 2 out of every 10 serves.
The other was a large target with about 7 of 10 serves landing successfully.
Each player predicted how many he/she would make into each area before serving.
This resulted in players generally overestimating their ability to hit the difficult target but underestimating their ability to make the easy target.
Why did this happen?
They generally fell victim to the hard-easy effect. The hard-easy effect is sometimes also called the ceiling-floor effect.
It’s a statistical effect that ensures that performance estimations tend towards the middle of the scale.
How does it work?
When we perform a difficult skill, say one that we can complete successfully 2 out of 10 times, we’re faced...
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