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Body-specific influences on performance evaluation in realistic dynamic scenes

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According to the body-specificity hypothesis, left-handers (right-handers) are more likely to associate positive attributes with the left (right) side. We tested whether such body-specific influences also apply to evaluative judgments in realistic dynamic scenes. In two experiments (order counterbalanced), N = 231 participants watched videos from dual mogul competition where two skiers turn downhill through moguls side by side simultaneously and then comparatively rated the skiers’ technical performances. Experiments differed in the required response mode only. In Exp. 1, participants made forced-choice decisions by selecting either the left or right skier as the better performer; in Exp. 2 graded judgments were made on a 10-point scale ranging from −5 (skier on the left side) to + 5 (skier on the right side). Body-specific associations were found in Exp. 1 (OR = 3.16), but not in Exp. 2 (OR = 1.50). A control experiment (Exp. 3; same participants) revealed that our sample (OR = 2.31) behaved similar to previously reported samples in a well-established cartoon character task, thereby confirming body-specific associations in our sample on a task with abstract static stimuli. Collectively, body-specific associations seem to apply to realistic dynamic scenes, particularly when frugal forced-choice decisions are required.
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Keywords: Embodiment; handedness; judgment; motor fluency; response mode

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Sport Science, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany 2: Institute of Sports and Sports Science, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany 3: Department of Sport Psychology, Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany

Publication date: May 4, 2019

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