[Nonverbal Behaviour and Person Perception in (Team) Sports]

Seiler, Kirstin (2018). [Nonverbal Behaviour and Person Perception in (Team) Sports] (Unpublished). (Dissertation, Universität Bern, Institut für Sportwissenschaft)

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The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the interpersonal effects of nonverbal behaviour (NVB), i.e., dominance and submissiveness, in the sports performance setting. More precisely, the focus of this dissertation was to figure out how strongly NVB influences team outcome confidence, outcome expectations and objective performance among perceivers (teammates and opponents) both in laboratory settings and in the field.
Previous experimental, laboratory research had consistently shown large effects sizes for the influence of NVB on several subjective outcome variables such as efficacy beliefs and ratings of a player's quality. However, in these studies, only NVB as factor influencing the person perception process had been integrated although person perception theories assume more than one factor to be relevant during the person perception process. Consequently, in a threepart and a twopart experimental, laboratory study, it was tested whether the influence of NVB remains large when additional performance-related information as another factor influencing the person perception process was available. Further, research so far had exclusively been conducted in laboratory settings in which only subjective ratings but no objective behavioural outcomes were assessed. Therefore, a real-world football penalty shootout was established in which penalty takers had to rate their outcome expectations and the goalkeepers' capabilities when shooting against a dominant and a submissive goalkeeper, but also the penalty takers’ objective performance, as well as the accuracy and speed of the penalties were measured. Previous to these main studies, an explorative questionnaire study had been conducted examining whether athletes exerting team sports rate NVB and its influence on teammates and opponents to be relevant in team sports.
The results of the explorative questionnaire indicated that athletes strongly perceive NVB during games and rate the influence of NVB on teammates and opponents to be high. Concerning the experimental, laboratory studies, the results showed that the effect sizes for the NVB-effect remain large, independent of whether performance-related information is externally provided or internally available through the activation of gender stereotypes on the football abilities of women and men. Regarding the results of the penalty shootout, the results were partly in line with previous laboratory research as dominant goalkeepers were perceived as more capable than submissive goalkeepers but no significant results were found concerning the influence of NVB on outcome expectations and performance. This dissertation's results advance the understanding on the importance of NVB in the sports performance setting and allow a deeper insight in the transferability of laboratory results to the field. Further research is needed focusing on the influence of NVB on performance during sports competitions and on factors influencing the effects of NVB, such as personality characteristics or situational constraints. From a practical perspective, the results of this dissertation could be useful to implement training programs fostering athletes’ self-presentation techniques and to enhance coaches’ and staffs’ awareness for the importance of NVB in (talent) selection processes.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science II [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Seiler, Kirstin


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Kirstin Seiler

Date Deposited:

11 Feb 2019 12:12

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2019 20:15





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