Poster presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of The Psychonomic Society November 1993

Optimal Defensive Hand Positioning to Limit Basketball Shooting Accuracy

Michael K. McBeath, Phillip J. Kellman


This study examines if putting a hand in a basketball shooter's face procides more effective defense if the hand is waved with fingers open or held stationary with fingers closed. Surveyed undergraduates strongly favored the waved-hand strategy, independent of extent of exposure to basketball. Yet, our results demonstrate that defense is superior with the stationary-hand strategy. People appear to assume that the added complexity or "visual noise" of motion increases distractibility. Our findings support that a stationary hand more effectively blocks visibility. A moving hand acts as a partially-occluding moving surface that allows greater visibility.

Optimal Defensive Hand Strategy As Indicated by Subject Opinion and Basketball Shooting Accuracy As a Function of Defensive Hand Condition

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