Action-specific effects on perception are grounded in affordance perception: An examination of soccer players' action choices in a free-kick task

Gareth Paterson*, John Van Der Kamp, Elizabeth Bressan, Geert Savelsbergh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to investigate how performance accuracy on a soccer free-kick task affects perception of the distance between the ball and goal as well as the perception of kickability. It was hypothesized that action-specific biases in perception of environmental properties (i.e., distance) would be grounded in affordance perception (i.e., kickability). We used a modified staircase procedure in order to investigate the accuracy with which skilled soccer players were able to perceive whether freekick situations presented over a wide range of distances from goal were kickable or not. Participants were also required to estimate the distances of the free-kicks from goal using a perceptual-matching task. Results showed that distance perception was correlated with kicking performance, but only at the boundary of the participants' perceived kick capability. It was also found that perception of kickability was more strongly related to success in the free-kick task than distance perception per se. Results support the notion derived from Proffitt's (2006) account that action-specific effects on the perception of the environment properties are grounded in the perception of affordances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-334
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Psychology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Affordances
  • Decision-making
  • Free-kick
  • Perception

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