Ironic and reinvestment effects in baseball pitching: How information about an opponent can influence performance under pressure

Robert Gray, Anders Orn, Tim Woodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Are pressure-induced performance errors in experts associated with novice-like skill execution (as predicted by reinvestment/conscious processing theories) or expert execution toward a result that the performer typically intends to avoid (as predicted by ironic processes theory)? The present study directly compared these predictions using a baseball pitching task with two groups of experienced pitchers. One group was shown only their target, while the other group was shown the target and an ironic (avoid) zone. Both groups demonstrated significantly fewer target hits under pressure. For the target-only group, this was accompanied by significant changes in expertise-related kinematic variables. In the ironic group, the number of pitches thrown in the ironic zone was significantly higher under pressure, and there were no significant changes in kinematics. These results suggest that information about an opponent can influence the mechanisms underlying pressure-induced performance errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Motor control
  • Sport psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Applied Psychology

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