The influence of instructions and body-scaling as constraints on decision-making processes in team sports

Cordovil, Rita, Araujo, Duarte, Davids, Keith, Gouveia, Luis, Barreiros, Joao, Fernandes, Orlando, & Serpa, Sidonio (2009) The influence of instructions and body-scaling as constraints on decision-making processes in team sports. European Journal of Sport Science, 9(3), pp. 169-179.

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Team games conceptualized as dynamical systems engender a view of emergent decision-making behaviour under constraints, although specific effects of instructional and body-scaling constraints have yet to be verified empirically. For this purpose, we studied the effects of task and individual constraints on decision-making processes in basketball. Eleven experienced female players performed 350 trials in 1 vs. 1 sub-phases of basketball in which an attacker tried to perturb the stable state of a dyad formed with a defender (i.e. break the symmetry). In Experiment 1, specific instructions (neutral, risk taking or conservative) were manipulated to observe effects on emergent behaviour of the dyadic system. When attacking players were given conservative instructions, time to cross court mid-line and variability of the attacker's trajectory were significantly greater. In Experiment 2, body-scaling of participants was manipulated by creating dyads with different height relations. When attackers were considerably taller than defenders, there were fewer occurrences of symmetry-breaking. When attackers were considerably shorter than defenders, time to cross court mid-line was significantly shorter than when dyads were composed of athletes of similar height or when attackers were considerably taller than defenders. The data exemplify how interacting task and individual constraints can influence emergent decision-making processes in team ball games.

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24 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 28253
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cognition, Ecological Psychology, Constraints, Emergent Behaviour, Team Sports
DOI: 10.1080/17461390902763417
ISSN: 1746-1391
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 24 Nov 2009 01:45
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:56

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