Heuristic reasoning and ‘armchair refereeing’: on the influence of example-availability on ad-hoc frequency judgments

Miller, Paul K. ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5611-1354 , Rowe, Louise and Cronin, Colum (2011) Heuristic reasoning and ‘armchair refereeing’: on the influence of example-availability on ad-hoc frequency judgments. In: 16th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science : Sports Sciences : New Horizons from a World Heritage City, 6-9 July 2011, Liverpool John Moores University, UK. (Unpublished)

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Successful skill execution in many forms of sport-related task is demonstrably premised (to a great degree) upon an individual’s ability to evaluate an inherently uncertain context and make ‘pressurised decisions’ therein. In a moment-by-moment manner, players, officials and coaches make high-stakes judgements on the likely outcomes of various prospective courses of action, judgements which are themselves premised on practical assessments of what is happening at that time, and what has happened previously. Over the last forty years, a steadily expanding corpus of social cognitive research has documented at length how, when performing everyday reasoning tasks on-the-fly, individuals rarely (if ever) attempt – or indeed have the option of attempting – a comprehensive retrieval and examination of all potentially domain-relevant resources from social memory. More commonly, metacognitive ‘short-cutting’ strategies – judgemental heuristics – are employed to expedite these tasks. In terms of reasoning under conditions of contextual uncertainty, the most robustly demonstrated of these is the availability heuristic. First identified in a series of experimental studies in the early 1970s by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman (1973; 1974), this heuristic, in its most basic terms, describes the manner in which situated estimations of frequency or probability tend to be inducted from the germane information most cognitively salient to an individual, i.e. this order of judgement task is primarily informed by the task-relevant examples that can be easily recalled. This paper outlines an empirical study of such ‘snap judgements’ in sport, with particular focus on the operations and impacts of the availability heuristic. Drawing upon the video-based infraction detection method devised by MacMahon, Starkes, and Deakin (2007), the empirical focus of the study falls upon the judgements made by football fans during the ostensibly ‘non-participatory’ activity of watching sport on television. The central thesis herein is that if heuristic reasoning can be demonstrated to influence evaluation of events at this primordial site of sporting involvement, then the case for its investigation at all levels – and in all fields - of sporting activity will be substantially advanced.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Sports and Physical Activity
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 10:57
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 10:01
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2395


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