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    Ironic effects and final target fixation in a penalty shooting task.

    Binsch, Olaf, Oudejans, Raôul, Bakker, Frank C. and Savelsbergh, Geert (2010) Ironic effects and final target fixation in a penalty shooting task. Human movement science, 29 (2). pp. 277-88. ISSN 0167-9457

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    Abstract

    The aim of the present study was to find out whether ironic effects in a far aiming task were accompanied by shorter final fixations on the target. Generally, it is well known that a sufficiently long final fixation on the target is of crucial importance for accurate performance in far aiming. Recently, it has been shown that ironic effects in golf putts and penalty kicks (in which one does the opposite of what was intended, e.g., shoot close to the keeper while attempting to avoid this) were preceded by longer fixations on the to-be-avoided area, which may have resulted in shorter final fixations on the target area. Therefore, in the current study we examined football players taking penalties in a simulated penalty environment with and without instructions to avoid the goalkeeper. The findings revealed that ironic effects were indeed accompanied by significantly shorter final fixations on the target area, i.e., the open goal space. It is concluded that in far aiming tasks, ironic effects are accompanied by insufficiently long final fixations on the target.

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