The quiz effect describes the tendency of contestants, but not questioners, in a quiz-game setting to discount the arbitrary nature of their roles in over-attributing cleverness to the questioner. This tendency is generally viewed as an example of the fundamental attribution error and is usually explained in terms of cognitive processes. An alternative explanation is proposed that suggests that the effect reflects impression-management tactics, especially compliance to the norm of modesty. In the present Australian study, the quiz effect was replicated when questioners and answerers rated past behaviors. However, when future performance in a quiz-game setting was predicted, there was no evidence of the effect. These results are consistent with a normative, not cognitive, explanation of the effect.