The findings of a human-based deception study fit perfectly with deception behaviours in the animal world, according to its authors. “They really are just a bunch of animals running around the sporting field – they have the same simple motivations of scoring a goal and are affected by the possible cost of their behavioural actions.”
A study into deception by University of Queensland researchers shows football players are more likely to “take a dive” when a game is drawn and they are near the attacking end, in the hope of securing a penalty. Co-author Dr Robbie Wilson says the work grew out of studies into the evolution of deception. “One of the difficulties in studying deception in humans is it is hard to identify – by its very nature [deception] is supposed to go undetected,” he says.
“We realised professional football gave us a unique opportunity [to look at human deception] as there are so many cameras recording the game it is obvious when a player is not touched and rolls around. This is then a clear case of someone trying to deceive another person.”
Read the article here and the scientific paper in PLos One, or read on.
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