Expert-Novice Differences in an Applied Selective Attention Task

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Two experiments are described comparing the temporal and spatial characteristics of the anticipatory cues used by expert (n=20) and novice (n=35) racquet sport players. In both experiments the perceptual display available in badminton was simulated using film, and display characteristics were selectively manipulated either by varying the duration of the stroke sequence that was visible (Experiment 1) or by selectively masking specific display features (Experiment 2). The subjects* task in all cases was to predict the landing position of the stroke they were viewing. It was found in Experiment 1 that experts were able to pick up more relevant information from earlier display cues than could novices, and this appeared in Experiment 2 to be due to their ability to extract advance information from the playing side arm, in addition to the racquet itself. These differences, it was concluded, were congruent with predictions that could be derived from traditional information-processing notions related to recognition of display redundancy. The roles of different anticipatory cue sources in the independent predictions of stroke speed and direction were also examined, and it was concluded that directional judgments were more dependent on cue specificity than were depth judgments.

The experiments reported in this paper formed part of the doctoral dissertation of the first author and were supported in part by Otago Research Council Grant No. 14-093.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Brace Abernethy, Department of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4067, Australia.

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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