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Title: The role of contextual information in expert anticipation
Author: Murphy, Colm Padraig
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 3441
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2017
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While it is well established that expert performers can pick up and utilise postural cues to anticipate more effectively than less-skilled counterparts, the role of contextual information in expert anticipation has received relatively little research attention. The aims of this thesis were to highlight the importance of contextual information in anticipation, identify specific sources of contextual information that impact anticipation, and examine how this information is used. In five studies, skilled and less-skilled tennis players were presented with videos or animations of the same open play rallies. The animations omitted postural information, constraining participants to anticipate based on contextual information alone. First, participants anticipated more accurately than chance in both display conditions. Skilled participants were more accurate than less-skilled participants, with the difference being greater in the video condition. Second, gaze data and retrospective verbal reports were collected when viewing the animations. Skilled participants displayed different gaze behaviour and more thoroughly evaluated the presented information than less-skilled participants. Third, animations were manipulated to depict or omit potential sources of contextual information. The preceding shot sequence was shown to be a useful source of contextual information, particularly for skilled participants. Additionally, player positioning could be used to anticipate highly accurately in absence of any other information. Finally, the option generation strategies underpinning expert anticipation were examined. Participants generated fewer options when postural cues were available compared with when constrained to the use of contextual information alone. Moreover, skilled participants generated more task-relevant and fewer task-irrelevant options than less-skilled participants. Collectively, these findings increase understanding of the role of contextual information in expert anticipation and further highlight the complex nature of perceptual-cognitive expertise.
Supervisor: Williams, M. ; Jackson, R. ; Bishop, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Perceptual-cognitive skill ; Context ; Expertise ; Tennis