Skip to main content

Tackling Diving: The Perception of Deceptive Intentions in Association Football (Soccer)

Abstract

The three studies reported examine judgment about the attempts of footballers (soccer players) to deceptively exaggerate the effect of a tackle. Study one reveals that non-professional participants agree about which players were attempting deception and those that were not; there was also agreement about the tackles in which the intentions were ambiguous. Study two demonstrates that the intentions of tackled players match the judgment of their intentions by observers. Study three provides a taxonomy of behaviors that are associated with deceptive and non deceptive intentions. We conclude that deceptive intentions in this context are to a degree manifest in behavior and are observable.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. We selected games from the lower leagues and used old recordings to avoid the participants knowing the particular footballers involved. We did not allow participants to watch clips of their ‘own’ team and we did not use important league games or cup semi-final or finals. No participants reported a particular interest in any of the games or players viewed.

References

  • Abernethy, B. (1990). Expertise, visual search, and information pick-up in squash. Perception, 19, 63–77.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Abernethy, B., Gill, D. P., Parks, S. L., & Packer, S. T. (2001). Expertise and the perception of kinematic and situational probability information. Perception, 30, 233–252.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Abernethy, B., & Zawi, K. (2007). Pickup of essential kinematics underpins expert perception of movement patterns. Journal of Motor Behavior, 39, 353–367.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Balmer, N. J., Nevill, A. M., & Lane, A. M. (2005). Do judges enhance home advantage in European championship boxing? Journal of Sports Sciences, 23, 409–416.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Cook, M. (2004). 101 youth soccer drills. London: A & C Publishers Limited.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dasser, V., Ulbaek, I., & Premack, D. (1989). The perception of intention. Science, 243, 365–367.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson, P., Dobson, S., Goddard, J., & Wilson, J. (2007). Are football referees really biased and inconsistent? Evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English premier league. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 170, 231–250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennet, D. (1989). The intentional stance. Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dohmen, T. (2008). Social pressure influences decisions of individuals: Evidence from the behavior of football referees. Economic Inquiry, 46, 411–424.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Farrow, D., & Abernethy, B. (2003). Do expertise and the degree of perception––action coupling affect natural anticipatory performance? Perception, 32, 1127–1139.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fiske, S., & Taylor, S. (1991). Social cognition (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fleiss, J. L. (1971). Measuring nominal scale agreement among many raters. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 378–382.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frank, M. G., & Gilovich, T. (1988). The dark side of self and social perception: Black uniforms and aggression in professional sport. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 74–85.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Greenhouse, S. W., & Geisser, S. (1959). On methods in the analysis of profile data. Psychometrika, 24, 95–112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenlees, I. A., Bradley, A., Holder, T. P., & Thelwell, R. C. (2005). The impact of two forms of opponents’ non-verbal communication on impression formation and outcome expectations. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6, 103–115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenlees, I., Leyland, A., Thelwell, R., & Filby, W. (2008). Soccer penalty takers’ uniform and pre-penalty kick gaze affect the impressions formed of them by opposing goalkeepers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 569–576.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hagemann, N., Strauss, B., & Leissing, J. (2008). When the referee sees red…. Psychological Science, 19, 769–771.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, R. C., Warren, S., & Abernethy, B. (2006). Anticipation and susceptibility to deceptive movement. Acta Psychologica, 123, 355–371.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, M. V., Paul, G. G., & Erskine, J. (2002). The impact of a team’s aggressive reputation on the decisions of association football referees. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 991–1000.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Leslie, A. M., & Keeble, S. (1987). Do six-month-old infants perceive causality? Cognition, 25, 265–288.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Matsumoto, D., Konno, J., Hata, S., & Takeuchi, M. (2007). Uniform color and sport competition outcomes. Research Journal of Budo, 39, 1–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michotte, A. (1946/1963). The perception of causality. London: Methuen.

  • Műller, S., Abernethy, B., & Farrow, D. (2006). How do world-class cricket batsmen anticipate a bowler’s intention? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 2162–2186.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nisbett, R. E., & Ross, L. (1980). Human inference: Strategies and shortcomings of social judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice.

    Google Scholar 

  • Plessner, H., & Haar, T. (2006). Sports performance judgments from a social cognitive perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 555–575.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Porter, S., & Yuille, J. C. (1996). The Language of deceit: An investigation of the verbal clues to deception in the interrogation context. Law and Human Behavior, 20, 443–458.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schlottman, A., & Surian, L. (1999). Do 9-month-olds perceive causation at a distance? Perception, 28, 1105–1113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, D. J. (2005). The psychology of stereotyping. New York: Guilford Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scholl, B. J., & Tremoulet, P. D. (2000). Perceptual causality and animacy. Trends in Cognitive Science, 4, 299–309.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tye, C. M., Amato, S. L., Honts, C. R., Devitt, M. K., & Peters, D. (1999). The willingness of children to lie and the assessment of credibility in an ecologically relevant laboratory setting. Applied Developmental Science, 3, 92–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vrij, A. (2008). Detecting lies and deceit (2nd ed.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons: Chichester.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilkerson, W. S. (1999). From bodily motions to bodily intentions: The perception of bodily activity. Philosophical Psychology, 12, 61–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Young, M. E., Beckmann, J. S., & Wasserman, E. A. (2006). Pigeons’ discrimination of Michotte’s launching effect. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 86, 223–237.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul H. Morris.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Morris, P.H., Lewis, D. Tackling Diving: The Perception of Deceptive Intentions in Association Football (Soccer). J Nonverbal Behav 34, 1–13 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-009-0075-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-009-0075-0

Keywords

  • Deceptive intentions
  • Perception intentions
  • Deception
  • Sport perception