Title

Evaluative audience effects on perception in a sport task

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Benjamin R. Kunz

Abstract

The presence of an evaluative audience is known to influence task performance, but the mechanism by which it influences performance is unknown. In an attempt to identify this mechanism, this study investigated whether the presence of an evaluative audience would also impact perception of the task target's spatial characteristics (i.e., distance to the hole and hole size). Experienced and novice golfers putted a golf ball from various distances and toward target golf holes of various sizes, with and without an evaluative audience present. Participants then made spatial judgments of the golf hole after putting the ball. The results showed that in the presence of an evaluative audience, novices perceived the hole as closer than did experienced golfers. However, novices putted with less accuracy than experienced golfers. These results suggest that social facilitation effects differentially impact spatial perception based on task experience.

Keywords

Audiences, Performance Evaluation, Golfers, Depth perception, Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, social facilitation, perception, evaluative audience

Rights Statement

Copyright 2014, author

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