Friday, November 26, 2010

Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess

New IZA Working Paper

Anna Dreber Almenberg, Christer Gerdes, Patrik Gränsmark

Beauty Queens and Battling Knights: Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess

We explore the relationship between attractiveness and risk taking in chess. We use a large international panel dataset on chess competitions which includes a control for the players' skill in chess. This data is combined with results from a survey on an online labor market where participants were asked to rate the photos of 626 expert chess players according to attractiveness. Our results suggest that male chess players choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent, even though this does not improve their performance. Women's strategies are not affected by the attractiveness of the opponent.

1 comment:

Kevin Denny said...

Thats interesting I suppose. When I was active in chess there were very few females playing in Irealnd, perhaps this has changed with the Polgars etc.
It would be interesting to see whether men take more risks generally (for example driving or their sexual behaviour) when in the presence of attractive females.