Service of Jeopardy: Predictable Behavior of Men and Women

December 15th, 2022

Categories: Competition, Games, Men, Winning, Women

I’m a relative newcomer to Jeopardy. Nevertheless, in the time I’ve watched, I’ve noticed a few things about the winners, mostly men. The behavior of men and women parallels the dynamics of some in business.

All competitors are smart and probably know many of the answers but on the show, women often lack confidence and are less aggressive. [There are exceptions of course.] They are often slow to respond and some wait for countless questions asked and answered before entering the game.

Women are also timid to declare they know the answer before it has popped into their minds. The men who often win take a risk that the answer will come to them before time’s up, so they are consistently first to press the buzzer giving them the chance to answer. I noticed this when contestant Cris Pannullo played. During 21 wins, he’d often buzz first and then he’d think/hesitate a moment before responding.

Men also are more courageous and confident to go all the way money-wise when they hit Double Jeopardy, often propelling them to a significant game-winning lead. Women appear gobsmacked by missing a question where men seem unphased and jump right back in the game with gusto.

Men also often head immediately for the highest stake questions–$1,000 or $2,000—while women generally shoot for the $200/$400 ones.

Do you find it ironic or not surprising that the game reflects the give and take within many a team of men and women in the workplace?

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8 Responses to “Service of Jeopardy: Predictable Behavior of Men and Women”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    I rarely disagree with you… So I won’t start now. However, I’ve noticed that the better players, whether male or female, or anything else, go for the larger, dollar amount, questions, in order to increase their score. Has to do with being a good player, in my mind, not whether someone is male or female. Can we agree on that?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I will pay more attention. You are undoubtedly correct!

  3. BC Said:

    I miss Cris Pannulo. He was fun to watch. Guess he will get more chances.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    He was fun to watch. At first, he never smiled. Then he did. And so smart. He’ll be back as you wrote.

  5. lucrezia Said:

    Sadly, there’s a great deal of truth to such unfortunate behavior. Things will get better if and when women make the effort to buck these trends by cleaning up their act. In some ways, it’s starting to happen, and here’s hoping it continues.

  6. ASK Said:

    I noticed women tend to bet less on the final question…even when they have a pretty good idea about the answer.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Even today there are some corporate cultures that don’t encourage women to act in their best interests and when they do, they are criticized for being aggressive and nasty. Same old same old.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’ll pay attention. My favorite final questions happen when contestants are close one to the other.

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