Influence of order effects and mode of judgement on assessments of ability in sport.

Research paper by Matthew J MJ Smith, Iain I Greenlees, Andrew A Manley

Indexed on: 14 May '09Published on: 14 May '09Published in: Journal of sports sciences


We examined the influence of order effects on assessments of sporting ability. Club-standard ultimate frisbee players (n = 240) viewed footage of a target player performing a series of ultimate frisbee skills. Participants viewed either a declining (successful to unsuccessful) pattern of performance or an ascending (unsuccessful to successful) pattern. Ratings were made on three descriptors of ultimate frisbee ability. One group of participants made ratings at the end of the sequence of clips, one group updated their ratings after each clip in a step-by-step manner, and one group used an extended step-by-step processing strategy. Finally, a fourth group made end-of-sequence ratings, but a delay condition was used to control for the time taken to make step-by-step ratings. Analyses of covariance (order vs. judgement condition) were conducted on the ratings. Results revealed primacy effects for the ratings of the target player in the end-of-sequence and delay conditions, and in the first step-by-step condition, but no order effects in the second step-by-step condition. Findings indicate order effects can be reduced by using a more thorough step-by-step processing strategy.