Faculté des lettres

A psycholinguistic investigation of football players’mental representations of game situations: Does expertise count?

Gygax, Pascal ; Wagner-Egger, Pascal ; Parris, Ben ; Seiler, Roland ; Hauert,Claude.-Alain

In order to progress through a competitive sporting event, athletes need to form mental representations of the situations they encounter. In this paper, we present three experiments exploring the mental representations of football players when presented with written material describing football game situations. Experiment 1 assessed off-line processing by having players of different levels... Plus

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    Summary
    In order to progress through a competitive sporting event, athletes need to form mental representations of the situations they encounter. In this paper, we present three experiments exploring the mental representations of football players when presented with written material describing football game situations. Experiment 1 assessed off-line processing by having players of different levels generate written football scripts. The results predominantly showed that players of lower expertise were less “other-oriented” and included more emotional elements in their mental representations. Experiments 2a and 2b further explored these differences. Using an on-line measure, a reading-time paradigm, we showed that First Division players’ mental representations more easily included “others” and less readily included emotions, as opposed to both National League and Fifth Division players. Although Fifth Division and National League were similar, different cognitive processes may underlie the construction of the players’ mental representations.