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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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Philip Furley and Geoffrey Schweizer

The goal of the present research was to test whether score-related changes in opponents’ nonverbal behavior influence athletes’ confidence in beating their opponents. In an experiment, 40 participants who were experienced basketball players watched brief video clips depicting athletes’ nonverbal behavior. Video clips were not artificially created, but showed naturally occurring behavior. Participants indicated how confident they were in beating the presented athletes in a hypothetical scenario. Results indicated that participants’ confidence estimations were influenced by opponents’ score-related nonverbal behavior. Participants were less confident about beating a leading team and more confident about beating a trailing team, although they were unaware of the actual score during the depicted scenes. The present research is the first to show that in-game variations of naturally occurring nonverbal behavior can influence athletes’ confidence. This finding highlights the importance of research into nonverbal behavior in sports, particularly in relation to athletes’ confidence.

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Christian von Sikorski and Thomas Schierl

Previous studies have demonstrated that the media, by specifically framing news articles, may systematically affect a nondisabled recipient’s perception of athletes with disabilities (AWDs). However, it remains unclear how specific sports news frames affect a recipient’s quality perception of a journalistic product and if news frames further affect an individual’s postexposure behavior in social interaction with a person with a disability (PWD). To shed some light on these potential news-framing effects, 2 experimental studies (between-subjects designs) were conducted. Study 1 revealed systematic news framing’s effects on recipients’ attitudes toward a depicted AWD and showed effects on a recipient’s perceived quality of a news story. Study 2 further revealed that specific news frames may (automatically) affect a recipient’s behavior (e.g., verbal communication performance, visual attention/ eye contacts) in a subsequent face-to-face social interaction with a PWD. The findings are discussed regarding their implications for the journalistic coverage of disability sports in the media.

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William M. Bukowski Jr. and DeWayne Moore

Boys who participated in a series of athletic events as part of their activities at an overnight camp evaluated the importance of possible causes for success and failure in these events. These reasons included the four traditional attributions of ability, effort, luck and task difficulty, and other attributions suggested in previous person-perception studies of the causes of outcomes in achievement-related tasks. The results indicated the following: (a) two of the traditional attributions (luck and difficulty) were perceived as having little importance, (b) success was attributed to internal factors whereas failure was attributed to external factors, (c) the differences between the winners and losers provided little evidence for the presence of a self-serving bias in their evaluations of the items, and (d) the differences between actors and observers were not entirely consistent with the hypothesis that actors attribute outcomes to situational factors and observers attribute the same outcomes to dispositional factors. These results are discussed in light of possible confounds in the experimental design and previous attribution research in sport.