Score-related nonverbal gestures in basketball: Are amateur basketball players able to read them accurately?


Prior studies (e.g. Furley & Schweizer, 2014) have shown that players' reading of score-related nonverbal gestures may influence their confidence estimations in winning or losing a game. But, do amateur basketball players read accurately their opponents' score-related nonverbal behavior? 90 players (n=42, 11-14 years-old; n=48, 17-21 years-old) were presented two series of 27 video clips (counterbalanced presentation). One presented professional players whereas the other one showed amateur players of similar age than ours. Each participant watched 54 video clips. Nine of the 27 video clips of each series showed the opponent team leading (>15 points, leading clips), another 9 showed the opponent team trailing (<15, trailing clips), and the last third showed a level game (+/-5, drawing clips). Each one of these blocks of 9 items included 3 face only items (only the opponent player's face appears), 3 body only items (only the opponent player's body appears), and 3 face plus body items (both the face and the body of the opponent player's appear). Participants were asked to estimate the game score after watching each video clip. Results showed that: -Older players read significantly better than younger players score-related opponent players' nonverbal gestures. -Drawing clips were the most difficult to read for both groups. -Score-related nonverbal gestures were identified better when professional players appeared in the video clips, but surprisingly, face was not the most informative part. Implications for training basketball players to read the opponent team nonverbal behavior, and how to use it to their advantage will be developed.

Acknowledgments: This study was performed thanks to grant DEP2011-27282 (Designing Multimedia Tools for Learning and Teaching Sports in curricular and non-curricular Contexts) awarded to the first author by MINECO (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, National Plan of i+D+i)