Expertise differences in a video decision-making task: Speed influences on performance

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Video clips of different speeds were used in a simulation of decision-making in Australian football to test the effects on decision accuracy and decision time. Elite and sub-elite and novice Australian footballers watched videos in six speeds (0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 and 2.0 times normal speed). Participants responded by using a mouse-click to indicate where they would pass the ball for that particular video clip. The elite and sub-elite groups also rated each clip for how ‘game-like’ the decision-making felt. The elite group was significantly more accurate than the sub-elite and novice groups, and the sub-elite group was more accurate than the novice group. Within-speed analysis showed the elite group excelled at the faster video speeds. The use of speeded video delineated clear expertise differences between the groups at the 1.5 speed. Elite and sub-elite players identified the 1.25 and 1.5 speeds as most ‘game-like’ for decision-making. These results show that athletes perceive moderately speeded video as more game-like. Speeded video is further speculated to have allowed elite athletes to perform more automatically, with a faster processing efficacy, a key characteristic of elite performance. This study suggests the use of speeded video as a potential new research paradigm to explore expertise and a viable method for future training interventions for decision-making.

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