Expertise in sports enhances the ability to anticipate forthcoming events from the observation of a player's actions. In the present study, we investigated whether this ability is applicable to deceptive action. In three experiments, performance at anticipating the direction change of a running opponent was examined with experienced rugby players and novice counterparts. These experiments were conducted with reaction-time and temporal-occlusion tasks, in combination with eye movement recordings and the presentation of filmed actions and their point-light representations. The main finding was that the experienced players were superior to the novices in their anticipation of deceptive actions, although their performance was still impaired by the deception, in comparison with their anticipation of nondeceptive actions. We also found that the experienced players anticipated nondeceptive actions less accurately than the novices, suggesting that the players' expectations of deceptive actions worked negatively on their judgments of nondeceptive actions. The results obtained with the point-light representations closely resembled those obtained with the filmed sequences, indicating that anticipation was based on the kinematics of the running action. These results are discussed in the context of recent developments in research on expertise and deception in sports.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems
- Linguistics and Language