The Head-Fa­ke Ef­fect in Bas­ket­ball in a Qua­si-Re­a­li­stic Set­ting

The aim of the first part of the research project (Experiment Series 1) is to generalize previous research findings on the cognitive processing of head fakes in basketball and the locus of the head-fake effect based on static stimulus material to dynamic stimuli. The head-fake paradigm can be investigated experimentally in a similar way like classic paradigms in cognitive psychology, such as the Stoop task (Stroop, 1935) or the Simon task (Simon & Rudel, 1967), and allows for the application of inferential tools, such as the additive factors logic by Sternberg (1969). The following question will be answered: Can the perceptual encoding stage as the locus for the head-fake effect (in accordance with the encoding hypothesis), as has been demonstrated by Kunde et al. (2011) for static stimuli, be generalized to dynamic stimulus material, or do we rather find evidence for the notion that dynamic video scenes induce motor responses in the observer (in accordance with the motor hypothesis)? To this end, we remove the dimensional overlap between stimulus and response (Experiment 1) and use the additive factors logic, on the one hand, to investigate the head-fake effect on the perceptual encoding stage by manipulating stimulus quality (Experiment 2), and, on the other hand, on the response selection stage by using a Simon-task (Experiment 3).

In the second part (Experiment Series 2), we investigate those moderating factors of the head-fake effect, which are of high practical relevance for the use of head fakes in competition. First, we examine the optimal temporal window between head turning and pass initiation (Experiment 4). Second, we study the influence of the temporal interval between two head fakes and its influence on the magnitude of the head-fake effect (Experiments 5a and 5b). Again, we use well-establishes experimental paradigms from cognitive psychology, in order to better understand the constraints of sequential adaptation effects, which can be observed when a head fake is repeated, by testing the relative impact of the inter-stimulus interval (ISI, cf. Wühr & Ansorge, 2008) and the response-to-stimulus interval (RSI, cf. Notebaert et al., 2006).