In honor of the start of football season, I thought it would be a fun topic for this week’s dip into self-delusion to cover the undeniable faith of football fans. And lo and behold, a new study just out in PLoS One covers this very subject.
Fans, like professionals assigned to cover a team, were overly optimistic about their team’s prospects. The opposite pattern was found for teams that fans disliked. Because success within the NFL is zero sum, these results make clear that bias exists and that collective decision making is inconsistent.