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Aiming to deceive: Examining the role of the quiet eye during deceptive aiming actions

Wood, GW, Vine, SJ, Parr, JVV and Wilson, MR (2017) Aiming to deceive: Examining the role of the quiet eye during deceptive aiming actions. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 39 (5). pp. 327-338. ISSN 0895-2779

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In three experiments, we explored the use of deceptive gaze in soccer penalty takers using eye-tracking equipment. In Experiment 1, players competed against a goalkeeper while taking unconstrained shots. Results indicated that when players used deception (looking to the opposite side to which they shot) they extended the duration of their final aiming (quiet-eye; QE) fixation and maintained shooting accuracy. In Experiment 2, with no goalkeeper present players still used extended QE durations when using a deceptive strategy, but this time their accuracy suffered. In Experiment 3, we manipulated the goalkeeper’s location while controlling for the use of peripheral vision and memory of goal size. Results indicated that increased QE durations were required when using deceptive aiming, and that accuracy was influenced by the position of the goalkeeper. We conclude that during deceptive aiming, soccer players maintain accuracy by covertly processing information related to the goalkeeper’s location.

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