In 1977, Scheer and Ansorge again went to the videotape, this time at a women's regional collegiate meet, to measure judging bias linked to order of appearance. As expected, the results supported their previous findings, but this time the researchers administered a test to explore the psychological makeup of the judges. They discovered that so-called "internals," individuals who believe they control their own destinies, were less susceptible to bias than were "externals," who believe that their lives are largely controlled by factors such as fate and chance.
Scheer hopes that established judges will be exposed to his research so that they might become aware of their vulnerabilities and thus be prepared to cope with them. But he adds, "To be quite honest, I think the studies we've done haven't really had all that much of an impact on the gymnastics community."
Nevertheless, the bias bloodhound remains undaunted. Scheer has picked up a new scent to pursue. This summer he's at home in Lincoln, sifting through mounds of statistical data on the judging of figure skating.