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The goal of the present paper was to investigate if claiming (post-performance nonverbal emotional expressions) influences people in evaluating performance during surf contests. To test this research question we sampled videos form professional surf contests and asked laypeople (Experiment 1; N = 110) and surf judges (Experiment 2; N = 41) to evaluate the performance in two online experiments. A subset of the surfing performances showed surfers displaying post-performance emotional expressions (claims) whereas another subset showed the same performances without the claims (nonverbal celebration). Both experiments provided evidence that both laypeople and surf judges were biased by claims in judging surfing performances with claims better than performances without claims. The findings are in line with social-cognitive models emphasizing the social consequences of emotion expressions. We discuss the implications of the findings for sport competitions that rely on judging sport performance.
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Claims in Surng: The Inuence of Emotional Postperformance
Expressions on Performance Evaluations
Philip Furley,
1
Fanny Thrien,
2
Johannes Klinge,
1
and Jannik Dörr
1
1
German Sport University Cologne;
2
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The goal of the present research was to investigate whether claims (postperformance nonverbal emotional expressions) inuence
people in evaluating performance during surf contests. To test this research question, the authors sampled videos from
professional surf contests and asked laypeople (Experiment 1; N= 110) and surf judges (Experiment 2; N= 41) to evaluate
the performance in 2 online experiments. A subset of the surng performances showed surfers displaying postperformance
emotional expressions (claims), while another subset showed the same performances without the claims (nonverbal emotional
expressions). Both experiments provided evidence that both laypeople and surf judges were biased by claims in judging surng
performances, with claims better than the performances without claims. The ndings are in line with social-cognitive models
emphasizing the socioconsequences of emotion expressions. The authors discuss the implications of the ndings for sport
competitions that rely on judging sport performance.
Keywords:emotion expression, nonverbal behavior, pride
Indeed, from many thousands of miles away, I could
almost hear the judges double-take and reenter their scores
when one of the worlds best surfers throw their arms
up in pseudo-joy and triumph. (https://www.surfer.com/
features/king_of_the_claims/)
This quote published in Surfer magazine illustrates the topic of
this study: Do claims (postperformance nonverbal emotional ex-
pressions) inuence people in scoring waves during surf contests?
Or, stated more generally, does individual postperformance non-
verbal behavior inuence observersevaluation of the perfor-
mance? Several relevant lines of research from different
domains suggest that claiming (nonverbal celebration of perfor-
mance in wave surng) indeed has the potential to affect people
evaluating the observed performance.
Claims can be regarded as an instance of emotion expression.
Darwin (1872/1998) is often credited for launching the scientic
study of emotion expressions with his seminal book On the Ex-
pressions of the Emotions in Man and Animal. Darwins take on
emotion expressions has led to the formulation of basic emotion
theory (Ekman, 1992;Keltner, Tracy, Sauter, & Cowen, 2019) with
the central tenet that humans have a set of distinct emotions that are
autonomously (or automatically) expressed and understood in a
universal manner. For example, humans are assumed to express
happiness (Shiota et al., 2017) and/or pride (Tracy & Matsumoto,
2008) with universal nonverbal signals following pleasant experi-
ences and successful achievements.
When considering nonverbal expressions in sports, and more
specically claims in surng, nonverbal expressions are not nec-
essarily automatic and, therefore, most likely do not result in the
same universal expressions. Usually, athletes are exerting some
control over their nonverbal expression, particularly in instances of
claiming a certain performance in surng competitions. Hence, it is
not surprising that professional surfers show different nonverbal
behaviors when claiming waves, for example, raising a single st
in front of their chest, raising both arms above the head, or arms
akimbo with hands on hips, etc. In this respect, Goffman (1959,
1963,1971) was one of the rst to explicitly state that people can
purposely control their nonverbal expressions to convey particular
impressions. Although Goffmans analyses were based on casual
observations and anecdotal evidence, there is a vast amount of
experimental evidence in the literature showing that nonverbal
expressions can be used for self-presentation purposes (see
DePaulo, 1992 for an early review).
Today, there is a general consensus that nonverbal expressions
are under both conscious, deliberate control and unconscious, auton-
omous control (e.g., see Matsumoto, Frank, & Hwang, 2013 for a
review). Hence, nonverbal expressions are conceptualized to sys-
tematically vary along a continuum of controllability (e.g., Ekman &
Friesen, 1969). Although athletes have been shown to automatically
display certain nonverbal behavior that conveys accurate information
about internal states (Furley & Schweizer, 2014a,2016a), people can
also fakeor modify certain nonverbal expressions in an attempt to
inuence observers. Claims in surng can probably be considered a
blend of spontaneous and intentionally used nonverbal expressions.
In some instances, surfers will potentially claim a particular wave
during a surf contest in an attempt to inuence the judges, whereas in
other cases, surfers might be so overwhelmed by the quality of a
ridden wave that they will show an automatic claim.
In an attempt of providing a general model on the effects that
emotional expressions can have on observers (e.g., on surf judges
observing claims), Van Kleef (2009) proposed the emotions as
social information model (EASI model) to better understand how
emotional expressions may exert interpersonal effects. Central to
the model is the assumption that emotional expressions affect
observers via two routes: inferential processes and/or affective
reactions. Inferential processes describe how an observer of the
expression can infer certain information about internal states
Furley, Klinge, and Dörr are with German Sport University, Cologne, Germany,
Furley in the Inst. of Training and Computer Science in Sport. Thrien is with Martin-
Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany. Furley (p.furley@dshs-
koeln.de) is corresponding author.
1
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, (Ahead of Print)
https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2019-0122
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(e.g., feelings, attitudes, motivation, cognitions) of other people
and the current situation. Applied to the present research, a judge or
a spectator may conclude that a surfer has achieved something great
(inference) when observing a display of pride (i.e., a claim in
surng), and should be evaluated accordingly (e.g., a higher score).
On the other hand, the observed expressions can directly elicit
affective reactions within the observer. One type of affective
reaction may occur via the process of emotional contagion, whereby
individuals catch the expressers emotions through his or her facial
expressions, bodily movements and postures, or vocalizations
(Hateld, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1993). For example, when a friend
starts laughing and one cannot help oneself and bursts out laughing
too. According to the EASI model, this is more likely to occur
among spectators (compared with judges) that support a particular
surfer (because whether emotional contagion occurs or not depends
on the relationship status of the expresser and the observer; Van
Kleef, 2009). That means, people will likely experience similar
emotional reactions when watching a video of their favorite team
celebrating an important victory, whereas this is not likely to occur
when watching similar footage of a team they do not support.
Although inferential processes are a more likely candidate in
explaining potential effects of surng claims on performance
evaluations, it is possible that in some instances claims might
also be contagious to some degree on observers and thereby explain
small portions of variance in resulting performance evaluations.
A further theoretical perspective on explaining how claims in
surng might inuence observersperformance evaluations might
be derived from a Brunswikian perspective (Brunswik, 1957)that
hasbeenaninuential theoretical background in the context of sport
ofciating (Plessner, Schweizer, Brand, & OHare, 2009;Unkelbach
& Memmert, 2010). More specically, social judgment theory
(Hammond, Stewart, Brehmer, & Steinmann, 1975) has transferred
the theoretical concepts from Brunswiks Lens Model on perception
to social situations such as ofciating in sports. Regarding the
potential inuence of surfersclaims on performance evaluations,
social judgment theory assumes that observers of surf contests try to
judge a distal variable (i.e., surng performance) based on multiple
proximal cues (e.g., technical elements such as turns, uency,
barrels/tubes, speed, airs, etc.) that are correlated with the distal
variable (i.e., surng performance). Although it seems intuitive that
proximal cues like certain technical elements will inuence evalua-
tions of surng performance, it is less clear whether a claim after a
surng performance would also affect performance evaluations
among observers. For this to be the case, observers would need
to have learned (or believe) that the proximal cue (i.e., the claim)
would have tobe correlated with the distal cue (surng performance).
Given a related nding showing that soccer referees use crowd noise
(Unkelbach & Memmert, 2010) as a proximal cue in judging the
severity of fouls (i.e., awarding yellow cards) might indicate that
postperformance emotional expressions in surng would similarly be
used by observers to inform performance evaluations, because both
crowd noise in soccer and claims in surng arguably often are valid
cues in the respective evaluations. Hence, the present research tested
if claims in surng would be used as proximal cues by observers to
inform (distal) performance evaluations.
In summary, there is a solid theoretical and empirical basis
highlighting the potential inuence of emotional expressions on
observers. Therefore, the present studies attempted to empirically
test the anecdotal observation highlighted in the initial quote from
SURFER magazine if people in general (Experiment 1) and surf
judges, in particular (Experiment 2), are inuenced in their perfor-
mance assessments by claims expressed by professional surfers.
The Present Research
Judgments of competitive performance are omnipresent in various
sports. Although the outcome of some sport competitions can be
determined by objective measurement (e.g., time in the 100-m sprint),
an objective score (e.g., goals in hockey), several sport competitions
rely on subjective judgments (e.g., points in gymnastics) to determine
the outcome. This is also the case in competitive surng. In profes-
sional surng, athletes compete against each other in heats (depend-
ing on the contest either one-on-one, or heats containing three or four
surfers, see https://www.worldsureague.com/ for further details).
Heats typically last 3035 min (nal heats sometimes 45 min and big
wave heats 60 min) and surfers attempt to catch waves with high
scoring potentials. Every wave an athlete surfs during a heat is given a
score between 0.1 and 10 points. The scoring is done by a judging
panel consisting of ve judges, each declaring one score for a surfers
wave. The highest and lowest score gets eliminated and the mean of
the remaining three scores determines the surfersnal wave score.
The two best wave scores are summed at the end of the heat to
comprise the surfersnal heat score (see WSL Rule Book 2019
[https://www.worldsureague.com/asset/23142/2019+WSL+Rule
+Book+-+03032019.pdf] for more details).
We build on Plessner and Haars(2006)socialcognitive
perspective on sports performance judgments to investigate the
inuence of claims on evaluating surng performance. This theo-
retical framework follows from the outlined Brunswikian perspec-
tive (Brunswik, 1957;Plessner et al., 2009) and suggests that
observers of sport competitions integrate multiple cues (that are
correlated or believed to be correlated with the to-be-judged perfor-
mance) in constructing their performance evaluations that can lead
to systematic biases in their judgments. Emotional expressions
subsequent to surng a wave during a contest can be considered
a salient cue that observers of the performance integrate with their
stored knowledge, the actual visual information from the surng
performance, crowd noise, etc., to construct a judgment of the
witnessed performance (Plessner & Haar, 2006). Although, we
argued that emotional expressions or claims can be modied or
staged for self-presentational purposes (e.g., DePaulo, 1992), they
can typically be regarded as correlated with surng performance
given that high-level surfers literally never claim a wave after a poor
performance. In addition, the EASI model (Van Kleef, 2009)was
built on a solid empirical basis demonstrating the strong impact of
emotional expressions on observers. Therefore, we attempted to test
the hypothesis that emotional expressions (claims) would lead to a
systematic bias in judging surng performance by both laypeople
(Experiment 1) and experienced surng judges (Experiment 2).
To test this hypothesis, we sampled two sets of stimuli
published on the World Surf League (WSL; https://www.
worldsureague.com/) event home pages for Experiments 1 and 2
showing video footage of professional surfers performing during
contests. A subset of videos showed identical waves of surfers
either claiming or not claiming the wave (i.e., the video was cut
before the claim was shown). Given the problem of low-powered
between-subject designs in experimental research in sport and
exercise psychology (Schweizer & Furley, 2016), we decided to
implement the crucial comparison of wave scores as a function of
surfers either showing claims after performing or not showing a
claim within subject. In order to have sufcient reliability, we
averaged a subset of wave scores with claims and without claims
(eight waves, respectively, in Experiment 1 and 10 waves, respec-
tively, in Experiment 2) that were presented in randomized order
among other waves to distract from the purpose of the experiments.
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To ensure that any potential differences in wave scores were in fact
due to observing claims versus no claims and not performance
differences in the video stimuli, we randomly assigned participants
to two groups. Group 1 presented one subset of waves that
displayed claims after performance and another subset of waves
that were cut before the claim was visible. Group 2 was shown the
identical waves with the only difference that the same waves that
were shown in Group 1 with claims were shown in Group 2 without
claims and the waves shown without claims in Group 1 were shown
with claims in Group 2. This methodology allowed us to test
our central hypothesis that identical surf performances would be
judged better if they were followed by a claim compared with the
same video footage not showing the claim.
Experiment 1
Methods
Participants. A total of 110 participants (69 males, 41 females;
M= 24.9; SD = 4.4) completed an online experiment. Sample size
was calculated prior to the study to have sufcient power (0.95) to
detect medium effects (f= 0.2) on the claim versus no claim ratings
in a 2 ×2 analysis of variance (ANOVA; Group 1 vs. Group 2 ×
Claim vs. No Claim; Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, & Buchner, 2007).
Thirty-one participants (28.18%) reported having no experi-
ence in surng. Among the other 79 participants (71.82%), 16.36%
referred to themselves as beginners, 29.09% as intermediates,
24.56% as advanced, and 1.82% as experts regarding their level
of surng expertise. Furthermore, 31.82% reported having less
than 1 year of experience in surng, 47.27% between 1 and 5 years,
and 20.0% more than 5 years; 40.91% had no visual experience in
surng, meaning not following a surng event either on television,
on the Internet, or at the beach prior to the study. The other 59.09%
were following surf events on television, on the Internet, or at
the beach where the event took place (M
number of surf events/year
= 2.0;
SD = 2.43). Of them, 72.6% were familiar with the international
scoring system in surng, whereas the other participants (27.4%)
were not familiar with any type of judging criteria. Informed
consent was obtained from every participant online before com-
mencing the experiment.
Stimuli. The selected video sequences were sampled online at the
video database Heat Analyzer (www.worldsureague.com). For
the purpose of the present research, we sampled stimulus material
from two competitions of the 2014 and 2015 World Championship
Tour (Event Hurley Pro at Trestles 2014/2015; Quicksilver Pro
Gold Coast Event 2015). The sampled videos always started with a
surfer paddling for a wave and catching the wave, followed by the
surfer stepping on the board and starting to surf the wave until the
end (the endcan have two different meaningseither the surfer
nishes all his maneuvers successfully or the surfer falls).
Every video stimulus only displayed one surfer. Overall, 20
athletes were shown in this study. The length of the video se-
quences was determined by the performance of the surfer. The
maximum length of one sequence lasted no longer than 40 s. The
videos were divided into three categories: with claim, no claim, and
unnished wave. For the category with claim,waves were
selected in which surfers showed claims (i.e., nonverbal emotional
expressions) after nishing the wave (e.g., showing their st [see
Figure 1], raising arms above head, etc.). The claims occurred
immediately after nishing the wave and had to be easily observ-
able. For the category no claim,the same waves were used as in
the category with claim,with the only exception that we cut the
video before the claim was observable (i.e., only showing the
surng performance without the claim). For the category unn-
ished wave,only sequences were selected in which the surfer lost
his balance and fell in the water. These waves were not used for
further analyses, but instead served to distract participants from the
purpose of the study.
Measure. Perceivers rated the short video scenes on a digital
semantic differential scale after every video. In order to give their
ratings, perceivers moved a mouse cursor from the middle of the
scale that represented a medium score (50) toward either pole (0 =
lowest possible score; 100 = highest possible score) of the scale
and logged in their rating by clicking the left mouse button. The
utilized scale was continuous.
1
Experimental Manipulation. Participants were randomly as-
signed to one of the two groups. Group 1 was shown a subset
of eight waves (category with claim) that displayed claims after
performance. Group 1 was further shown eight waves that were cut
before the claim was visible (category without claim). Group 2
was shown the identical waves with the only difference that the
same waves that were shown to Group 1 with claimswere shown
to Group 2 without claimsand the waves shown without
claimsto Group 1 were shown with claimsto Group 2. This
manipulation enabled us to have a powerful test comparing evalua-
tions of waves with claimand without claimswithin partici-
pants while controlling for differences in wave quality and surng
performance. In addition, we had three waves occurring twice
once with claim and once withoutfor every participant in both
Groups 1 and 2 to compare these evaluations. The problem with
this approach, however, might be that participants notice that they
were evaluating the same waves twice (which we controlled for by
asking participants after the experiment).
Procedure. Perceivers were instructed to judge the quality of
surng performance based on the video footage presented to them
by moving a mouse cursor to either the very lowor very high
pole of the scale. They were further instructed to answer as
accurately as possible, whereas speed was not emphasized. Before
commencing the experiment, perceivers lled out an online ques-
tionnaire gathering demographic data. Each participant had to rate a
total of 27 waves. These 27 videos included ve falling waves,
Figure 1 Sample frame taken from one of the experimental video
stimuli used in Experiment 1 showing a surfer claiming a wave.
(Ahead of Print)
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eight waves with claim, and eight waves without claim. In addition,
each participant saw three waves twice: once showing the wave
with a claim and once with the same video cut before the claim was
visible.
All videos were presented silently. The participants were rst
shown an example video sequence to familiarize them with the
procedure. After using the mouse to click on a forward buttonon
the screen, the participants were asked to judge the performance by
the surfer using the scale presented previously. There was no time
limit for the judgment. After conrming a judgment, participants
were automatically forwarded to the next sequence, which then
started automatically. After judging all 27 video sequences, the
perceivers answered three control questions to check if the per-
ceivers experienced any unexpected occurrences, if they realized
that some sequences were presented multiple times, and nally they
were asked if any problems occurred, while watching the videos.
Data Analyses
A signicance level of α= .05 was dened for the test. To test the
hypothesis, a two-factor mixed-design ANOVA was conducted.
The within-subject factor claim (claim vs. no claim) tested whether
claimed waves were judged higher than unclaimed waves. The
between-subjects factor group (Group 1 vs. Group 2) was con-
ducted to exclude that the two experimental groups differed in their
judgments. In addition, a ttest for dependent samples was con-
ducted to test if the subset of waves (three waves) that were
presented twice to participants differed depending on whether it
was seen with a claim or without a claim.
Results
The descriptive results are displayed in Figure 2. A mixed-design
ANOVA with the within-subject factor claim (claim vs. no claim)
and the between-subject factor group (Group 1 vs. Group 2)
revealed a signicant main effect of claims on overall performance
judgments, F(1, 108) = 9.175, p= .003, η2
p=.087, indicating aver-
age higher performance ratings for video footage of waves that
showed surfers claim waves as opposed to waves that were not
claimed. There was no signicant main effect of group on wave
scores (the waves that were shown with claims to one group
were shown without claims to the other group and vice versa),
F(1, 108) = 0.300, p= .585, η2
p=.003, indicating that the two
groups judged the shown waves similarly overall. The interaction
between claim and group was not signicant, F(1, 108) = 1.209,
p= .274, η2
p=.011.
When comparing the subset of waves (three waves) that were
presented twice to participants, once with a claim and once without
a claim, no signicant mean difference emerged, t(119) = .540,
p= .590, two-tailed; d= 0.05. Potentially, this experimental manip-
ulation was too obvious as participants were seeing the same waves
twice (although only 36 out of 110 stated that they noticed that they
were viewing some of the waves twice).
Discussion
Experiment 1 provided rst evidence that people seem to be
systematically biased to judge waves with claims better than waves
without claims, or stated differently that observers seem to use
claims as proximal cue to inform their (distal) performance evalua-
tions. The effect size of this effect can be considered medium by
convention. We did not nd this bias in the three waves that were
presented twice (once with claim and once without claim) to the
same participants. Potentially, the experimental manipulation was
too obvious as participants were seeing the same waves twice
(although only 36 out of 110 stated that they noticed that they were
viewing some of the waves twice).
Although it seems interesting that laypeople are biased in their
performance judgments by postperformance emotional expressions,
the more important questionis if surf judges would also be biased by
claims in their performance evaluations. As surf judges are trained
to give as objective performance evaluations as possible, it is not
clear if surf judges would also be inuenced by claims in their
performance evaluations. Therefore, Experiment 2 tested the same
research question with a slightly modied experimental setup and a
different participant population (i.e., surf judges).
Experiment 2: Surf Judges
Although the main rationale of Experiment 2 was to test if the effect
found in Experiment 1 would also be observable in surf judges who
are trained to give objective performance evaluations, Experiment
2 further followed a call by Fiedler (2011), who pointed out the
necessity of replicating effects found with one set of stimuli with
different stimuli to ensure that the phenomenon of interest does not
only apply to a highly specic set of stimulus material, but also
applies generally to the phenomenon of interest.
Methods
Participants. Forty-one participants (38 males, two females, and
one diver; M= 32.32; SD = 9.5) completed the online survey.
Fourteen participants (34.1%) had an International Surng Asso-
ciation (ISA) Level 1 judging license, ve participants (12.2%)
had an ISA Level 2 judging license, nine participants (22.0%) had
an ISA Level 3 judging license, and 13 participants (31.7%) had no
judging license, but a sufcient amount of judging experience.
The sample reported to have on average 36.05 (SD = 84.46) hr/year
contest judging experience, and 9.44 (SD = 18.2) of competing ex-
perience hours/year of contest experience. Just as in Experiment 1,
participants were randomly divided into two groups (n= 21 and
n= 20, respectively). Informed consent was obtained from every
participant via the experimental software before commencing the
experiment. Given the limited availability to sample a sufcient
number of surf judges to obtain similar power as in Experiment 1,
Figure 2 Mean score (0 = lowest, 100 = highest) estimates as a
function of whether or not the video showed a surfer claiming a wave.
Error bars represent SEs.
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Experiment 2 was not as highly powered as Experiment 1. Never-
theless, a post hoc power analysis revealed that our sample had
sufcient power (0.87) to detect medium effects (f= 0.25) on the
claim versus no claim ratings in a 2 ×2 ANOVA (Group 1 vs.
Group 2 ×Claim vs. No Claim; Faul et al., 2007).
Stimuli. Like in Experiment 1, the selected video sequences were
sampled online on the WSL Heat Analyzer database, containing
stimulus material from the World Championship Tour 2018 contest
Corona Open J-Bay. Every sequence was muted and started just
prior to the take-off and ended after nishing the performance
(either by nishing all maneuvers or by falling). The length of the
sequences varied between 3 and 35 s, depending on the perfor-
mance of the surfers. Twenty-two surfers coming from eight
different countries were presented to the participants. The se-
quences were divided into four categories: claim, no claim, com-
pleted, and wipe-out. The category claimcontained videos where
surfers claimed (i.e., nonverbal emotional expression) their surfed
waves immediately after successfully completing the last maneu-
ver. The category no claimcontained the same performances as
the claimvideos with the only difference that the claims were
cut out. Sequences from the category completedshowed surfers
completing the performance without claiming and the category
wipe-outcontained sequences where athletes fall off their
boards. The last two categories were only shown to distract
participants from the actual purpose of the study.
Measure. Perceivers rated the short video scenes on a digital
semantic differential scale after every video. In order to give their
ratings, perceivers moved a mouse cursor from the middle of the
scale that represented a medium score (5) toward either pole (0.1 =
lowest possible score;10=highest possible score) of the scale and
logged in their rating by clicking the left mouse button. The utilized
scale was continuous.
Procedure. Before the start of the experiment, participants lled
out a questionnaire gathering demographic data. Perceivers were
instructed to judge the quality of surng performances according to
ofcial ISA judging criteria by moving a cursor either toward the
0.1 pointsor the 10 pointspole of the scale. They were not
informed about the actual goal of the experiment. Instead, they
were instructed to answer as accurately as possible. Then, an
example wave was shown to familiarize them with the procedure.
Participants were instructed to give 6.5 points (utilizing the scale
explained earlier) and to relate to this example when judging the
following sequences. After clicking on a continuebutton on the
screen, participants were randomly assigned to one of the experi-
mental groups and the experiment started. Every participant got
to see and judge 10 claimwaves, 10 no claimwaves, ve
completedwaves, and ve wipe-outwaves. A claimstimuli
and a no claimstimuli were always followed by one of the ller
(completed or wipe-out) sequences. It was not possible to replay a
stimulus. Every video in which one group got to watch a claim
sequence was played to the other group as no claimversion and
vice versa. There was no time limit for the judgment. After
conrming a judgment, participants were automatically forwarded
to the next sequence, which then started automatically. After
completing to judge all 30 video sequences, the participants had
the chance to leave a comment.
Data Analyses
A signicance level of α= .05 was dened for the test. To test the
hypothesis, a two-factor ANOVA was conducted. The inner
subject factor claim (claim vs. no claim) tested whether claimed
waves were judged higher than unclaimed waves. The between-
subject factor group (Group 1 vs. Group 2) was conducted to
exclude that the two experimental groups differed in their judg-
ments. To measure the inuence of judge licenses, judging experi-
ence, and competition experience, a series of correlations were
computed on the mean difference between claimed and non-
claimed waves.
Results
The descriptive results are displayed in Figure 3. A mixed-design
ANOVA with the within-subject factor claim (claim vs. no claim)
and the between-subject factor group (Group 1 vs. Group 2)
revealed a signicant main effect of claims on overall performance
judgments, F(1, 39) = 16.478, p= .0001, η2
p=.297, indicating
average higher performance ratings for video footage of waves
that showed a surfer claim waves as opposed to waves that were
not claimed. There was no signicant main effect of group on
wave scores (the waves that were shown with claims to one group
were shown without claims to the other group and vice versa),
F(1, 39) = 1.331, p= .256, η2
p=.033, indicating that the two
groups judged the shown waves similarly overall. The interaction
between claim and group was not signicant, F(1, 39) = 1.1319,
p= .258, η2
p=.033.
To investigate if judging experience had an inuence on
whether claims had an impact on the scoring of judges, we
correlated the ISA level (ρ=.078, p= .628), judging experience
(r= .227, p= .154), and contest experience (r=.023, p= .886)
with the mean difference between claimed waves and not claimed
waves. The nonsignicant correlations indicate that all judges were
similarly affected by the claims, regardless of their judging level
and the amount of experience they had.
Discussion
Experiment 2 replicated the results from Experiment 1 with surf
judges and different stimulus material. Hence, it provided evidence
that surf judges also seem to be systematically biased to judge
waves with claims better than waves without claims. Therefore,
also experienced judges used claims as a proximal cue to inform
their (distal) performance evaluations. The effect size of this effect
Figure 3 Mean score (0 = lowest, 10 = highest) estimates as a
function of whether or not the video showed a surfer claiming a wave.
Error bars represent SEs.
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Postperformance Nonverbal Behavior in Surng 5
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can be considered large by convention (but see Schweizer &
Furley, 2016 on the danger of small[er] sample sizes on inating
effect sizes). Hence, Experiment 2 supported the anecdotal obser-
vation captured in the quote from SURFER magazine that claiming
waves during surf competitions can inuence the judgesper-
formance evaluations. Although surf judges are trained to give
as objective performance evaluations as possible, they appear
to be systematically inuenced by claims in their performance
evaluations.
General Discussion
The central aim of the present research was to investigate if
claiming (postperformance nonverbal emotional expressions) in-
uences people in evaluating performance during surf contests.
Both experiments provided evidence that both laypeople and surf
judges were biased by claims in judging waves with claims better
than waves without claims.
These ndings are in line with Plessner and Haars(2006)
socialcognitive perspective on sports performance judgments and
the outlined Brunswikian perspective of sports ofciating (Plessner
et al., 2009) as they provide experimental evidence that postper-
formance emotional expressions following surng performance
can be considered a salient cue that inuences the information
processing of observers and ultimately results in a systematic bias
of performance judgments: that is, resulting in surf performance
being judged more favorably if it is followed by a claim. As surng
competitions rely on subjective judgments of judges to determine
the outcome, these ndings have important applied implications for
judges and training programs ought to implement interventions to
avoid or reduce these biases. For example, video-based training
(Schweizer, Plessner, Kahlert, & Brand, 2011) might help to
sensitize surf judges toward claims and thereby help to diminish
this bias.
In addition, the ndings are in line with the more general EASI
model (Van Kleef, 2009) by demonstrating that emotional expres-
sions following athletic performance can have interpersonal ef-
fects. Although it seems more likely that the interpersonal effects
were primarily caused by inferential processes, we cannot rule out
that some of our participants experienced some emotional conta-
gion when viewing the claims of the surfers. Most likely, differen-
tial performance evaluations between claimed waves and waves
without claims were caused by participants inferential processes:
for example, they observed a display of pride and likely concluded
that this surfer had achieved something extraordinary and therefore
evaluated him accordingly. Nevertheless, we consider it a fruitful
avenue for future research to illuminate the mechanisms of how
observers are inuenced by emotional expressions of athletes
during sport competitions (see Furley, Moll, & Memmert, 2015;
Moll, Jordet, & Pepping, 2010).
In addition, we consider it interesting to combine the EASI
model (Van Kleef, 2009) with social judgment theory (Hammond
et al., 1975) or the multiple cue perspective of sports ofciating
(Plessner et al., 2009) to investigate into the relative importance of
postperformance emotional expressions (e.g., claims in surng)
compared with other cues related to the to-be-judged performance.
Currently, we are not aware of any research systematically re-
searching the effects of emotional expressions on different kinds of
performance evaluations. Given the importance of emotional ex-
pressions in social interactions (e.g., Van Kleef, 2009), it seems a
feasible hypothesis that emotional expressions of athletes or other
performers (e.g., musicians) might trumpother cues that are
more relevant for accurate performance evaluations. For example,
a winning smileof a gure skater or a dancer after a performance
might inuence judges more than certain technical elements of the
performance as previous research outside the sports domain has
indicated that likingcan affect performance evaluations (Cardy
& Dobbins, 1986). Future research in sports ofciating and other
domains involving performance evaluations might want to look
into these hypotheses.
Besides supporting Plessner and Haars(2006)social
cognitive perspective on sports performance judgments, the
Brunswikian perspective of sports ofciating (Plessner et al.,
2009), and the EASI model (Van Kleef, 2009), the present ndings
add to the growing literature on nonverbal behavior in sports (see
Furley & Schweizer, 2020, for a recent review). Research on
nonverbal behavior in sports has shown that athletes (Furley &
Schweizer, 2014a) and ofcials (Furley & Schweizer, 2016b)
automatically display certain nonverbal behaviors depending on
their internal states (e.g., emotions) and observers can draw
accurate inferences from these observations. Further research
has shown that nonverbal behavior changes occurring during
sports competitions affect observers (e.g., prospective condence
levels of opponent athletes; Furley & Schweizer, 2014b). Certain
nonverbal displays have also been shown to affect the subsequent
interaction with observers of these displays (Furley, Dicks,
Stendtke, & Memmert, 2012;Jordet & Hartman, 2008;Moll et al.,
2010). The present research extends these ndings by showing
that postperformance nonverbal expressions can affect the evalu-
ation of the observed performance.
The present research approach has some notable strengths and
weaknesses. We consider it a strength that our stimulus material
shows naturally occurring nonverbal emotional expressions of
surfers during surf competitions, instead of being articially
created, which is a common limitation in research on nonverbal
behavior in sports (Buscombe, Greenlees, Holder, Thelwell, &
Rimmer, 2006;Furley & Dicks, 2012;Furley,Dicks,&Memmert,
2012;Furley et al., 2012,2015;Greenlees, Bradley, Holder, &
Thelwell, 2005;Greenlees, Buscombe, Thelwell, Holder, &
Rimmer, 2005).The multistudy nature of the present research
can also be considered a strength and demonstrates the robustness
of the ndings across two population groups (laypeople and surf
judges) and in two sets of stimuli. Therefore, it seems likely that
the studysndings generalize toward judging in actual surf
events. Furthermore, both studies were adequately powered to
detect medium effects (equivalent of f= 0.25), which is an impor-
tant prerequisite for increasing the reproducibility of studies
(e.g., Schweizer & Furley, 2016).
The main limitation of our research is that it is not clear if
the results from our online studies transfer to actual judging during
surf contests. Although judging courses in surng make use of
video footage from actual competitions for training purposes, our
experimental setting of watching consecutive wave sequences
without the context of a heat dynamic unfolding might not be
representative of real-world surf judging. For example, it is possi-
ble that the head judge during a particular surng event might
give input and point out to the individual judges to not fall for any
claims of a particular surfer. Further research addressing the topic
(e.g., monitoring judges during a contest) would help to scrutinize
the present ndings. In addition, it would be interesting to test the
effect of postperformance emotional expressions in different per-
formance contexts.
In conclusion, the present research highlights the potential
inuence of emotional nonverbal expressions of surfers (claims)
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6Furley et al.
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on observers of surf contests. More specically, claims after
successful surng performances resulted in more favorable perfor-
mance evaluations as identical performances that did not show the
claims.
Note
1. We decided to use an intuitive continuous scale ranging from 0 to 100 in
Experiment 1 instead of the actual 10-point scale (Experiment 2) surf judges
use during competition, because participants in Experiment 1 would not have
been familiar with the judging criteria in competitive surng (e.g., scores
from 8 to 10 points represent excellent performances). Instead, the continuous
scale was selected to be sensitive to detect differences in performance
evaluations as a function of whether claims were present or absent.
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... Currently a variety of studies in the field of competitive surfing focus on topics such as performance requirements 15,22,23 and scoring criteria 24,25 , gender specific differences 26,27 or even how a claim, an excessive celebration of a wave, affects the subjective scoring by the judges. 28 Systematic reviews on load monitoring 11 and on the essential skills of wave-riding 29 can also be found. ...
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Nonverbal Communication: Science and Applications Nonverbal communication: Science and applications David Matsumoto San Francisco State University and Humintell, LLC Mark G. Frank University at Buffalo, State University of New York Hyi Sung Hwang San Francisco State University and Humintell, LLC SAGE Publications, Inc. 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks California 91320 United States 2013 9781412999304 9781452244037 20120531 10.4135/9781452244037 Encoding from PDF of original work Converted April 2012 per SAGE/CQ Press S3O Conversion Specification v1.3 Executed XSLT to parse author/editor element persName into four constituent elements, and to insert bio IDs, abstract, and online publication date. Nonverbal Communication Science and Applications David Matsumoto San Francisco State University and Humintell, LLC, Mark G. Frank University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and Hyi Sung Hwang San Francisco State University and Humintell, LLC SAGE Los Angeles London New Delhi Singapore Washington DC To our friend Maureen O'Sullivan, whose underappreciated scientific contributions.
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Endorsed by the International Society of Sport Psychology, this classic reference draws on an international roster of experts and scholars in the field who have assembled state-of-the-art knowledge into this thorough, well-rounded, and accessible volume. It is completely updated to reflect the latest research and is an indispensable resource for any student or professional interested in the field of sport psychology.