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Henning Plessner and Tilmann Betsch

In their comments on a study on penalty decisions in soccer (Plessner & Betsch, 2001), Mascarenhas, Collins, and Mortimer (2002) point to several factors that, in their view, weaken the external validity of this laboratory study. In our response, we argue that although it may be helpful to substantiate the prior findings in a study closer to the natural setting of refereeing, Mascarenhas et al. provide no conclusive argument as to why the observed judgment biases should vanish under more realistic conditions.

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Janet D. Larsen and David W. Rainey

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Ralf Brand, Gerhard Schmidt, and Yvonne Schneeloch

In a study on penalty decisions in soccer, Plessner and Betsch (2001) refer to a social cognition framework and demonstrate that referees’ initial decisions exert an undesirable impact on later decisions. Mascarenhas, Collins, and Mortimer (2002) criticize this work for an error in the attribution of its findings. In their view, the referees’ efforts to manage games by permanently adjusting decisions to the actual flow of a game have been underestimated. In the present experiment, 113 elite (i.e., first and second league) basketball referees made decisions on videotaped contact situations. These were presented either in their original game sequence or as random successions of individual scenes. Results showed that referees in the condition with the removed sequential context awarded more rigorous sanctions than their colleagues. Findings are interpreted as an instance of empirical evidence for what Mascarenhas et al. (2002) have described as game management. It is argued that the idea of game management should be modeled and further explored within the theoretical concept of social information processing.

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Duncan R.D. Mascarenhas, Dave Collins, and Patrick Mortimer

Plessner and Betsch’s (2001) investigation into officiating behavior may be representative of a shift from stress-oriented research (Anshel & Weinberg, 1995; Rainey & Winterich, 1995; Stewart & Ellery. 1996) to consideration of decision-making (Craven, 1998; Ford. Gallagher, Lacy, et al., 1999; Oudejans. Verheijen, Bakker, et al., 2000), the primary function of referees in any sport. Commendably, Plessner and Betsch have investigated the most important focus of referee performance, the application of the rules (Anshel, 1995). However, methodological weaknesses, together with a fundamental error in the attribution of causation to the findings, significantly dilute the paper’s contribution to extending knowledge in this important area.

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Lawrence R. Brawley, Daniel M. Landers, Lynn Miller, and Kathryn F. Kearns

The phenomenon of women being prejudiced against women in situations involving judgmental or evaluative-type motor tasks was examined. In Study 1, conducted in 1971, 26 male and 26 female college students evaluated both a male and a female accomplice who performed a muscularendurance task. Actual time of task performance was kept constant at 120 sec. Subjects made two estimates for each accomplice: a preperformance time and postperformance time. ANOVA indicated that subjects, regardless of sex, estimated preperformance and postperformance times significantly higher for male accomplices than females. Observers overestimated actual performance of male accomplices but underestimated females. Study 2 replicated Study 1 six years later to examine possible changes in judgmental bias over time. Results replicated the preperformance findings, and partially replicated postperformance results. In contrast to the earlier study, all subjects overestimated actual performance but male accomplices were overestimated to a greater extent than females.