Implicit goalkeeper influences on goal side selection in representative penalty kicking tasks

B. Noël, J. van der Kamp, D. Memmert

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In well-controlled lab situations, marginal displacements of the goalkeeper on the goal line affect goal side selection of penalty takers implicitly, that is, without the penalty takers being consciously aware of the displacement. Whether this effect is retained in more representative real-life situations with competing goalkeepers and penalty takers has not been verified. In the current study, penalty takers were instructed to position the goalkeepers at the centre of the goal. They then performed penalty kicks adopting either a keeper independent or a keeper dependent strategy, while goalkeepers actually attempted to save the ball by strategically diving early or late. Analyses of trials in which penalty takers failed to place the goalkeeper in the centre of the goal (although they incorrectly believed they placed the goalkeeper at the centre of the goal) showed that implicit influences of the goalkeeper's position on goal side selection were overridden by the (conscious) perception of the direction of the goalkeeper's dive, but only if the penalty takers deliberately monitored the goalkeeper's action and the goalkeeper committed early enough for penalty takers to respond. In all other combinations of penalty kick and goalkeeper strategies more than 60% of the kicks were directed to the side of the goal with more space. Most importantly, however, the current study shows that influences of implicit perception on the penalty takers' decision making are rather pervasive considering that many supraliminal sources of information were available. That is, the current study demonstrates that implicit perception retains its influence on decision-making even if other (stronger) stimuli are also present. Copyright:
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue numbere0135423
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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