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Daniel Memmert and Philip Furley

Failures of awareness are common when attention is otherwise engaged. Such failures are prevalent in attention-demanding team sports, but surprisingly no studies have explored the inattentional blindness paradigm in complex sport game-related situations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision-making in team ball sports. A series of studies revealed that inattentional blindness exists in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 1). More tactical instructions can lead to a narrower breadth of attention, which increases inattentional blindness, whereas fewer tactical instructions widen the breadth of attention in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 2). Further meaningful exogenous stimuli reduce inattentional blindness (Experiment 3). The results of all experiments are discussed in connection with consciousness and attention theories as well as creativity and training in team sports.

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Christian Unkelbach and Daniel Memmert

Referees in German first-league soccer games do not award as many yellow cards in the beginning of a game as should be statistically expected. One explanation for this effect is the concept of game management (Mascarenhas, Collins, & Mortimer, 2002). Alternatively, the consistency model (Haubensak, 1992) explains the effect as a necessity of the judgment situation: Referees need to calibrate a judgment scale, and, to preserve degrees of freedom in that scale, they need to avoid extreme category judgments in the beginning (i.e., yellow cards). Experiment 1 shows that referees who judge scenes in the context of a game award fewer yellow cards than referees who see the same scenes in random order. Experiment 2 shows the combined influence of game management (by explicitly providing information about the game situation) and calibration (early vs. late scenes in the time course of a game). Theoretical implications for expert refereeing and referee training are discussed.

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Christian Unkelbach and Daniel Memmert

The home advantage is one of the best established phenomena in sports (Courneya & Carron, 1992), and crowd noise has been suggested as one of its determinants (Nevill & Holder, 1999). However, the psychological processes that mediate crowd noise influence and its contribution to the home advantage are still unclear. We propose that crowd noise correlates with the criteria referees have to judge. As crowd noise is a valid cue, referee decisions are strongly influenced by crowd noise. Yet, when audiences are not impartial, a home advantage arises. Using soccer as an exemplar, we show the relevance of this influence in predicting outcomes of real games via a database analysis. Then we experimentally demonstrate the influence of crowd noise on referees’ yellow cards decisions in soccer. Finally, we discuss why the focus on referee decisions is useful, and how more experimental research could benefit investigations of the home advantage.

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Marco Rathschlag and Daniel Memmert

The present study examined the relationship between self-generated emotions and physical performance. All participants took part in five emotion induction conditions (happiness, anger, anxiety, sadness, and an emotion-neutral state) and we investigated their influence on the force of the finger musculature (Experiment 1), the jump height of a counter-movement jump (Experiment 2), and the velocity of a thrown ball (Experiment 3). All experiments showed that participants could produce significantly better physical performances when recalling anger or happiness emotions in contrast to the emotion-neutral state. Experiments 1 and 2 also revealed that physical performance in the anger and the happiness conditions was significantly enhanced compared with the anxiety and the sadness conditions. Results are discussed in relation to the Lazarus (1991a, 2000a) cognitive-motivational-relational (CMR) theory framework.

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Daniel Memmert and Stephen Harvey

The purpose of this article is to discuss some concerns with the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI). This review of the GPAI includes five perceived problems with the GPAI scoring and coding system: (1) calculation of individual and overall game performance indices, (2) use of game involvement versus game performance index to analyze game performance, (3) observer reliability, (4) nonlinearity, and (5) usefulness of action. In this article, we suggest a reexamination of the GPAI scoring and coding system that will lead to more efficient use of this game performance instrument. Some of the suggested modifications can be implemented quickly, whereas others need further research.

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Philip A. Furley and Daniel Memmert

The controlled attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC, Engle 2002) suggests that WMC represents a domain free limitation in the ability to control attention and is predictive of an individual’s capability of staying focused, avoiding distraction and impulsive errors. In the present paper we test the predictive power of WMC in computer-based sport decision-making tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated that high-WMC athletes were better able at focusing their attention on tactical decision making while blocking out irrelevant auditory distraction. Experiment 2 showed that high-WMC athletes were more successful at adapting their tactical decision making according to the situation instead of relying on prepotent inappropriate decisions. The present results provide additional but also unique support for the controlled attention theory of WMC by demonstrating that WMC is predictive of controlling attention in complex settings among different modalities and highlight the importance of working memory in tactical decision making.

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Philip Furley, Matt Dicks and Daniel Memmert

In the present article, we investigate the effects of specific nonverbal behaviors signaling dominance and submissiveness on impression formation and outcome expectation in the soccer penalty kick situation. In Experiment 1, results indicated that penalty takers with dominant body language are perceived more positively by soccer goalkeepers and players and are expected to perform better than players with a submissive body language. This effect was similar for both video and point-light displays. Moreover, in contrast to previous studies, we found no effect of clothing (red vs. white) in the video condition. In Experiment 2, we used the implicit association test to demonstrate that dominant body language is implicitly associated with a positive soccer player schema whereas submissive body language is implicitly associated with a negative soccer player schema. The implications of our findings are discussed with reference to future implications for theory and research in the study of person perception in sport.

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Thorsten Schiffer, Anne Möllinger, Billy Sperlich and Daniel Memmert

Context:

The application of kinesio tape (KT) to lower-extremity muscles as an ergogenic aid to improve muscle-strength-related parameters such as jumping is controversial.

Objective:

To test the hypothesis that the application of KT enhances the jumping performance of healthy uninjured elite female track and field athletes.

Design:

A double 1-legged jump test was performed before and after the application of blue K-Active tape without traction on the maximally stretched gastrocnemius, hamstrings, rectus femoris, and iliopsoas muscles according to the generally accepted technique.

Participants:

18 German elite female track and field athletes (age 21 ± 2 y, height 172 ± 4 cm, body mass 62 ± 5 kg, active time in their sport 13 ± 4 y).

Results:

Factorial analysis of variance with repeated measures (ANOVA, Bonferroni) revealed no significant differences in jumping performance between the tests (P > .05, d = 0.26).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that the application of KT has no influence on jumping performance in healthy, uninjured female elite athletes. The authors do not recommend the use of KT for the purpose of improving jump performance.

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Stefanie Hüttermann, Werner F. Helsen, Koen Put and Daniel Memmert

In recent years, several publications examined the underlying mechanisms that might have an impact on decision-making processes under time pressure. This study investigated how individual differences in attentional capability relate to decision making in complex dynamic offside events. A total of 24 professional football assistant referees (ARs) performed an offside decision-making task and an attention-demanding task. ARs with higher attentional capability along the horizontal meridian of their attentional focus made fewer mistakes when judging offside situations in football than ARs with lower capability. This implies that being able to rely on high-attentional capabilities in situations requiring conscious perception of multiple processes is likely to be beneficial for the ultimate decision-making performance.