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Nov 04, 2007

As soon as the bat met the ball, I knew it was gone

"As soon as the bat met the ball, I knew it was gone": outcome prediction, hindsight bias, and the representation and control of action in expert and novice baseball players.

Psychon Bull Rev. 2007 Aug;14(4):669-75

Authors: Gray R, Beilock SL, Carr TH

A virtual-reality batting task compared novice and expert baseball players' ability to predict the outcomes of their swings as well as the susceptibility of these outcome predictions to hindsight bias--a measure of strength and resistance to distortion of memory for predicted action outcomes. During each swing the simulation stopped when the bat met the ball. Batters marked where on the field they thought the ball would land. Correct feedback was then displayed, after which batters attempted to remark the location they had indicated prior to feedback. Expert batters were more accurate than less-skilled individuals in the initial marking and showed less hindsight bias in the postfeedback marking. Furthermore, experts' number of hits in the previous block of trials was positively correlated with prediction accuracy and negatively correlated with hindsight bias. The reverse was true for novices. Thus the ability to predict the outcome of one's performance before such information is available in the environment is not only based on one's overall skill level, but how one is performing at a given moment.

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