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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 3/2021

14-02-2020 | Original Article

Ebbinghaus visual illusion: no robust influence on novice golf-putting performance

Auteurs: François Maquestiaux, Mahé Arexis, Guillaume Chauvel, Josepha Ladoy, Pierrick Boyer, Marie Mazerolle

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 3/2021

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Abstract

Do visual illusions reliably improve sports performance? To address this issue, we used procedures inspired by Witt et al. (Psychol Sci 23:397–399, 2012) seminal study, which reported that putting on a miniature golf course was positively influenced by an increase in apparent hole size induced by the Ebbinghaus visual illusion. Because Witt et al.’s motor task—putting golf balls toward a hole from the distance of 3.5 m—was impossible for participants who were novices in golf (Experiment 1a), we decided to shorten the putting distance (i.e., 2 m instead of 3.5 m) in Experiment 1b. Otherwise, this second experiment closely followed every other aspects of Witt et al.’s procedure (i.e., one small or one standard golf hole surrounded by a ring of small or large circles). However, this attempt to replicate Witt et al.’s findings failed: the Ebbinghaus illusion significantly influenced neither hole perception nor putting performance. In two subsequent experiments, we encouraged the emergence of the effect of the illusion by simultaneously presenting both versions of the illusion on the mat. This major adaptation successfully modified the perceived size of the hole but had no impact on putting performance (Experiment 2), even when the putting task was made easier by shortening the putting distance to only 1 m (Experiment 3). In the absence of detectable effects of the illusion on putting performance, we conclude that the effects of visual illusions on novice sports performance do not represent a robust phenomenon.
Voetnoten
1
This assumption was confirmed by an informal conversation between Jessica Witt and the first author of the current article during the 2017 Psychonomics meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
 
2
These values are based on a visual inspection of Fig. 1 in Witt et al.’s (2012) article.
 
3
As discussed in Experiment 1b, Witt et al.’s (2012) participants were somehow more skilled at putting than our participants.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Ebbinghaus visual illusion: no robust influence on novice golf-putting performance
Auteurs
François Maquestiaux
Mahé Arexis
Guillaume Chauvel
Josepha Ladoy
Pierrick Boyer
Marie Mazerolle
Publicatiedatum
14-02-2020
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 3/2021
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01298-0

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