Why do professional athletes have different time preferences than non-athletes?

Alex Krumer, Tal Shavit, Mosi Rosenboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper is to measure and compare the subjective time discounting of professional athletes and nonathletes. By using a questionnaire, we found higher subjective discounting for professional athletes than for non-athletes. We also found that the professional athletes' win-orientation positively affected their present preferences. On the other hand, professional athletes' play- orientation, which reflects their attitude towards the game itself, negatively affected their present preferences. No such effects were found in non-athletes. We argue that the "win-at-all-costs" competitive approach that leads athletes to sacrifice everything in order to win may cause (or reflect) their higher preference for the present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletes
  • Discounting
  • Play orientation
  • Risk aversion
  • Sports
  • Time preference
  • Win orientation


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