Peaking at the right time: Perceptions, expectations, and effects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We explore the concept of peaking at the right time. Study 1 is a content analysis of 325 National Football League articles identifying four key triggers that prompt proclamations of peaking at the right time: turnarounds, impressive prior events, winning streaks, and out-ofs. Study 2 experimental results reveal that turnarounds most strongly impact perceptions of peaking at the right time, anticipated performance, and expectations faced. However, nuanced differences occur across two time periods during the season. Studies 1 and 2 also indicate that observers expect teams to win their next games more often than actually happens. Study 3 demonstrates that teams prepare harder and make riskier game plans when their next opponent is peaking at the right time. Study 4 suggests that individuals more strongly desiring to peak at the right time than others will value various factors differently at different time points when envisioning upcoming seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Emergence of streaks
  • Gambler's fallacy
  • Hot hand
  • NFL wagering market
  • Peaking at the right time
  • Semantic anchoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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