Courting on the beach: how team position implicitly influences decision-making in beach volleyball serves

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Masters, van der Kamp, and Jackson [2007. Imperceptibly off-centre goalkeepers influence penalty-kick direction in soccer. Psychological Science, 18, 222–223] demonstrated that a goalkeeper in soccer penalty kicking standing marginally to one side of the goal’s centre unconsciously influences a penalty takers’ goal side selection. In two experiments, we examined whether the positions of the receiving players in beach volleyball affect a player’s decision to what area of court to play. Both experiments differed in the degree of attention participants directed to the largest court area. Results showed that participants made decisions favouring the larger court area although they were unaware of the receivers’ asymmetrical positioning. This effect was more pronounced in Experiment 1, suggesting that the degree to which attention is directed to the critical information (i.e. largest court area) can be considered an important moderator. These observations indicate that implicit effects of positioning reflect a more general phenomenon in and outside of sports that can be exploited for improving chances of success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of cognitive psychology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 2318027

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