Sophomore slump

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A sophomore slump or sophomore jinx or sophomore jitters refers to an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the standards of the first effort. It is commonly used to refer to the apathy of students (second year of high school, college or university),[1][2] the performance of athletes (second season of play), singers/bands (second album),[3] television shows (second seasons) and movies (sequels/prequels).

In the United Kingdom, the "sophomore slump" is more commonly referred to as "second year blues", particularly when describing university students. In Australia, it is known as "second year syndrome", and is particularly common when referring to professional athletes who have a mediocre second season following a stellar debut.[4]

The phenomenon of a "sophomore slump" can be explained psychologically, where earlier success has a reducing effect on the subsequent effort, but it can also be explained statistically, as an effect of the regression towards the mean.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Feinstein, Jessica. Sophomore slump sneaks up on students. Yale Daily News. 25 March 2004.
  2. ^ Henderson, Angela. Sophomore slump afflicts many students. The Lantern. 28 May 2008.
  3. ^ Lynskey, Dorian. Are you suffering from DSAS? The Guardian. 19 Sept. 2003.
  4. ^ "Mortimer shakes 'second year syndrome'". ABC News. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Howard Wainer (2007), "The Most Dangerous Equation", American Scientist 95