Researchers asked volunteers to imagine they were running a five-kilometer race against 50 people and then against 500 people, races in each of which the top 10 percent would receive a $1,000 prize. Asked about the effort they would apply in the respective cases, the volunteers indicated, on average, that they would run slower in the race against the greater number of people. A likely explanation of this result is that those of the volunteers who were most comparatively inclined-those who most tended to compare themselves with others in the social environment-determined (perhaps unconsciously) that extreme effort would not be worthwhile in the 500-competitor race.
Which of the following would, if known to be true, most help justify the explanation offered above?
【选项】The most comparatively inclined volunteers believed that they were significantly less likely to finish in the top 10 percent in the race against 500 than in the race against 50.