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Sociological Images

Inspiring sociological imaginations everywhere.
Apr 26 '14
Umpires and expectation bias.
New data on how often umpires make bad calls — and what correlates with them — reveals a social psychological phenomenon called “expectation bias”:
 Umpires gave a slight edge to the home team pitchers, calling 13.3% of their pitches outside the zone as strikes.  Visitors got 12.6%.
The count mattered: At 0-0, the error rate was 14.7%, at 3-0, 18.6% of pitches outside the zone were called as strikes, and at 0-2, only 7.3% of pitches outside the zone were called as strikes.
All-star pitchers were more likely than others to get favorable calls…
…especially if the pitcher had a reputation as a location pitcher.
The importance of the situation (tie game, bottom of the ninth) made no difference in bad calls.
It seems that expectation accounts for a lot of these findings. It’s not that what you see is what you get. It’s that what you expect is what you see. 
Continue reading at Sociological Images.

Umpires and expectation bias.

New data on how often umpires make bad calls — and what correlates with them — reveals a social psychological phenomenon called “expectation bias”:

  •  Umpires gave a slight edge to the home team pitchers, calling 13.3% of their pitches outside the zone as strikes.  Visitors got 12.6%.
  • The count mattered: At 0-0, the error rate was 14.7%, at 3-0, 18.6% of pitches outside the zone were called as strikes, and at 0-2, only 7.3% of pitches outside the zone were called as strikes.
  • All-star pitchers were more likely than others to get favorable calls…
  • …especially if the pitcher had a reputation as a location pitcher.
  • The importance of the situation (tie game, bottom of the ninth) made no difference in bad calls.

It seems that expectation accounts for a lot of these findings. It’s not that what you see is what you get. It’s that what you expect is what you see. 

Continue reading at Sociological Images.

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    This is fascinating and awesome, and very little of it is surprising.
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