A novel joint decision making paradigm for assessing team coordination was developed and tested using baseball infielders. Balls launched onto an infield at different trajectories were filmed using four video cameras that were each placed at one of the typical positions of the four infielders. Each participant viewed temporally occluded videos for one of the four positions and were asked to say either "ball" if they would attempt to field it or the name of the bag that they would cover. The evaluation of two experienced coaches was used to assign a group coordination score for each trajectory and group decision times were calculated. Thirty groups of 4 current college baseball players were: (i) teammates (players from same team/view from own position), (ii) non-teammates (players from different teams/view from own position), or (iii) scrambled teammates (players from same team/view not from own position). Teammates performed significantly better (i.e., faster and more coordinated decisions) than the other two groups, whereas scrambled teammates performed significantly better than non-teammates. These findings suggest that team coordination is achieved through both experience with one's teammates' responses to particular events (e.g., a ball hit up the middle) and one's own general action capabilities (e.g., running speed). The sensitivity of our joint decision making paradigm to group makeup provides support for its use as a method for studying team coordination.
- Decision making
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