I spy with my little eye!”: Breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision making in team sports

Institute of Sport and Sports Science, University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.59). 07/2007; 29(3):365-81.
Source: PubMed


Failures of awareness are common when attention is otherwise engaged. Such failures are prevalent in attention-demanding team sports, but surprisingly no studies have explored the inattentional blindness paradigm in complex sport game-related situations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision-making in team ball sports. A series of studies revealed that inattentional blindness exists in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 1). More tactical instructions can lead to a narrower breadth of attention, which increases inattentional blindness, whereas fewer tactical instructions widen the breadth of attention in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 2). Further meaningful exogenous stimuli reduce inattentional blindness (Experiment 3). The results of all experiments are discussed in connection with consciousness and attention theories as well as creativity and training in team sports.

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Available from: Daniel Memmert
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    • "This article is not about crossing the road and this anecdotal example does not have anything to do with Olympic sports or sports in general, but it is suitable to introduce two different types of information processing: one requiring controlled attention and one not requiring controlled attention. Although researchers have acknowledged the importance of attention in sport (Abernethy, 2001; Furley & Memmert, 2010; Memmert, 2009; Moran, 1996; Wulf, 2007), research in this area is underdeveloped and has been conducted in a piecemeal fashion without a suitable overarching theoretical framework: 'a suitable framework to study the influence of attention on sport skills has not been established' (Boucher, 2008, p. 326). In addition, attentional accounts of skill acquisition and performance in sports – e.g. "
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