The influence of body language and expected competency on gaze behaviour while forming an impression of a tennis player

Article


Buscombe, R., Potton, A., Volskis, L., Papageorgiou, A. and Greenlees, L. 2020. The influence of body language and expected competency on gaze behaviour while forming an impression of a tennis player. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
AuthorsBuscombe, R., Potton, A., Volskis, L., Papageorgiou, A. and Greenlees, L.
Abstract

Cues conveyed by an athlete’s appearance and reputational information provided prior to an encounter have independently been shown to influence the impression perceivers form of others. Underpinning this process, it is not known how a target’s a) body language, b) gender or c) reputation may influence where a perceiver fixates their gaze when an individual comes in to view. Participants (N=106) randomly observed a male or female tennis player appearing on a monitor displaying positive or negative body language having been provided with that player’s recent win/loss record. Eye tracking recorded gaze behaviour in the first 5 secs after the player came in to view. After segmentation of the player in to six areas of interest, MANCOVA at p<.05 showed a clear preference for perceivers to direct their gaze towards the player’s head region. Body language and player gender influenced distribution of gaze per region of interest but this was largely unaffected by reputational information. This work indicates that the head region accounts for the largest proportion of gaze when individuals form judgements of opponents in a tennis setting. The balance of where observers look when forming these judgments is influenced by the gender of the player being observed and the body language being displayed.

JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
ISSN1612-197X
Year2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis for International Society of Sport Psychology
Accepted author manuscript
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Publication process dates
Accepted01 Feb 2020
Deposited04 Feb 2020
Copyright holder© 2020 Taylor & Francis
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology on [date of publication], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/[Article DOI].
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