Preferred Name

Richard Erik Inglis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Robert Harmison

Kethera Fogler

Trevor Stokes



Outcomes have been shown to distort feeling states, performance evaluations, and subsequent performances. This retrospective distortion represents an outcome bias, a phenomenon that has been studied extensively in a wide array of disciplines and domains. However, despite their importance, the effects of outcomes have received little attention in the sport corpus. In an attempt to remedy this oversight, 60 participants with basketball experience were recruited to take part in a free throw shooting competition. Participants completed two rounds of 20 free throws. Following their first round, participants were randomly assigned to either a negative outcome (lose by one shot) or a positive outcome (win by one shot). Subsequently, participants were asked to reflect on their first round performance and to respond to a modified version of the CSAI-2 and a performance evaluation item. It was hypothesized that the positive outcome group would rate their performance as better, report lower levels of cognitive anxiety and higher levels of self-confidence, and improve their score in a subsequent shooting trial. In the main, a series of t-tests revealed that these hypotheses were not supported. However, a Cohen’s d test revealed a medium effect of cognitive anxiety in the hypothesized direction. Further, a Cohen’s d test found that assigned outcome had a medium effect on future performance. Males who received a positive outcome following their round 1 performance in turn performed stronger in round 2 and vice versa. In addition, several correlations and means bear mention. These results are suggestive of an outcome bias. In light of these findings, implications for practitioners and other sport professionals are offered and lines of future research are recommended.

Keywords: outcome bias, sport, performance evaluation, feeling states



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