Expectancy effects in tennis: The impact of body language and playing record on\ud impressions of a tennis player and ratings of performance

Article English OPEN
Buscombe, Richard ; Greenlees, Iain
  • Publisher: Society for Tennis Medicine and Science
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: human activities

This study examined the impact that pre-event body language and knowledge of a performer’s playing record had on ratings of tennis performance. Participants (N = 123) were allocated to one\ud of four experimental groups (good body language/bad body language vs. positive playing\ud record/negative playing record) and viewed a live player warming up and completing a series of\ud tennis shots. Information outlining the player’s recent win/loss record was coupled with body\ud language condition during a period of warm-up footage. Likert-type scales were employed to\ud record impressions of the player and judgements as to the quality of the play. ANCOVA revealed\ud that the player was viewed more favourably having displayed positive as opposed to negative body\ud language (p<.001). Participants presented with a positive playing record (p = .001) formed a more\ud favourable impression and rated the players performance more positively (p = 0.001). The study\ud corroborates and extends the findings of recent work incorporating live models in expectancy\ud effects investigations.
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