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Working Memory Capacity as Controlled Attention in Tactical Decision Making

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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Influence of Exercise Intensity on the Decision-Making Performance of Experienced and Inexperienced Soccer Players

Fabio E. Fontana, Oldemar Mazzardo, Comfort Mokgothu, Ovande Furtado Jr., and Jere D. Gallagher

The aim of this study was to examine the decision-making performance of experienced and inexperienced soccer players at four exercise intensities (rest, 40%, 60%, and 80% maximal aerobic power). The decision-making performance of inexperienced players was expected to demonstrate an inverted-U shape with increasing levels of exercise. For the experienced players, decision making was predicted to show no change in performance with increased exercise intensity. Thirty-two adult soccer players (16 experienced, 16 inexperienced) were asked to answer seven decision-making questions as quickly and accurately as possible for each exercise intensity. Results indicated that exercise does not affect the accuracy of decision making; however, the speed of decision making for experienced and inexperienced players improved with increased exercise intensity. These results suggest that physiologically induced arousal only affects speed of decision making.

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Experts in Offside Decision Making Learn to Compensate for Their Illusory Perceptions

Koen Put, Marcus V.C. Baldo, André M. Cravo, Johan Wagemans, and Werner F. Helsen

In association football, the flash-lag effect appears to be a viable explanation for erroneous offside decision making. Due to this spatiotemporal illusion, assistant referees (ARs) perceive the player who receives the ball ahead of his real position. In this experiment, a laboratory decision-making task was used to demonstrate that international top-class ARs, compared with amateur soccer players, do not have superior perceptual sensitivity. They clearly modify their decision criterion according to the contextual needs and, therefore, show a higher response bias toward not responding to the stimulus, in particular in the most difficult situations. Thus, international ARs show evidence for response-level compensation, resulting in a specific cost (i.e., more misses), which clearly reflects the use of particular (cognitive) strategies. In summary, it appears that experts in offside decision making can be distinguished from novices more on the cognitive or decision-making level than on the perceptual level.

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A Communal Language for Decision Making in Team Invasion Sports

Michael Ashford, Andrew Abraham, and Jamie Poolton

). The importance of player decision making is highlighted by the volume of research dedicated to better understanding it ( Araújo, Hristovski, Seifert, Carvalho, & Davids, 2019 ; Raab & Araújo, 2019 ; Toner, Montero, & Moran, 2015 ; Williams & Jackson, 2019 ). Despite the rigour and impact of this

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Visual and Auditory Information During Decision Making in Sport

Stefanie Klatt and Nicholas J. Smeeton

Sensory modalities are generally classified by the physical stimulation that they are most sensitive to, such as light for vision, sound for hearing, or skin pressure for touch (cf. concept of sensory modalities by Müller, 1842 ). Most of the psychological literature related to decision making has

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Visual Scan Patterns and Decision-Making Skills of Expert Assistant Referees in Offside Situations

Peter Catteeuw, Werner Helsen, Bart Gilis, Evelien Van Roie, and Johan Wagemans

The offside decision-making process of international and national assistant referees (ARs) was evaluated using video simulations. A Tobii T120 Eye Tracker was used to record the eye movements. Two hypotheses for explaining incorrect decisions were investigated, namely, the flash-lag effect and the shift of gaze. Performance differences between skill levels were also examined. First, results showed a bias toward flag errors for national ARs as expected by the flash-lag effect. Second, ARs fixated the offside line before, during, and after the precise moment the pass was given, implying there was no shift of gaze from the passer to the receiving attacker. Third, no differences were found in scan patterns between international and national ARs. In conclusion, international ARs seem to have found a strategy to better deal with the perceptual illusion resulting from the flash-lag effect. Based on their experience, they have learned to correct for this illusion, and, consequently, show fewer flag errors.

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“I Spy with My Little Eye!”: Breadth of Attention, Inattentional Blindness, and Tactical Decision Making in Team Sports

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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Attention, Perception, and Action in a Simulated Decision-Making Task

Stefanie Hüttermann, Paul R. Ford, A. Mark Williams, Matyas Varga, and Nicholas J. Smeeton

access to the key information underpinning decision making (e.g.,  Williams, Davids, & Williams, 1999 ). Several different paradigms have been used to determine the breadth of visual attention, including, among others, the “useful field of view task” ( Wolfe, Dobres, Rosenholtz, & Reimer, 2017 ) and the

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The Influence of Environmental Constraints in 360° Videos on Decision Making in Soccer

Lisa Musculus, Jurek Bäder, Lukas Sander, and Tobias Vogt

Decision making is a well-established cognitive expertise factor in team sports ( Baker et al., 2003 ; Mann et al., 2007 ; Starkes et al., 2001 ). While expertise differences are widely acknowledged, indicating superior decision-making processes in experts as compared with near experts or novices

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Does Visual Attention Impact on Decision Making in Complex Dynamic Events?

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

department, police interventions, and air traffic control tower, or in daily situations like sitting in traffic or watching or playing sports, rapid decisions are essential and require fast and intuitive actions. Previous research on decision making has highlighted the importance of a well