Extant research has analyzed the impact of player position (first- versus second-mover) on individual performance in sequential tournaments. However, it remains unclear whether the first- or second-mover experiences an advantage in such tournaments. We argue that prior literature has ignored heterogeneity of psychological traits and incentive schemes. We conducted a tennis field experiment using the ABBA sequence, in which we do not find a first- or second-mover advantage on game level. However, on shot level (taking into account single moves) we observe, on average, a second-mover advantage. Analyzing the impact of psychological traits, we find that subjects with high self-esteem faced a second-mover advantage whereas subjects with low self-esteem faced a first-mover advantage on shot level. We do not observe significant moderating influences of individual, team, or tournament incentive schemes.
- Performance under pressure
- Psychological traits
- Second-mover advantage
- Sequential tournaments
- Theory of core self-evaluation