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While sports coaching may be increasingly statistics-dependent, people's assessment of performance overrides objective evidence in favour of comparison with others.

Martin Good /

Oxford University researchers have been looking at how we judge our own performance and that of other people. Their conclusion – we confuse the two, especially if in groups such as sports teams.

Lead researcher Marco Wittman explained: 'We judge ourselves all the time, from grades at school to how good our skills in playing football are. From a psychological-neuroscientific perspective, we know a lot about the mechanisms behind evaluating objects, but we know much less about the mechanisms that underlie the evaluation of ourselves and others.'

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