Faking A Dive In Soccer: Now a Scientifically-proven Way to Spot Cheaters

From Science Daily…

 

‘ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2009) — The game is up for football’s (soccer’s) divers: A new study by Dr Paul Morris from the University of Portsmouth could help referees know when a top player has genuinely been fouled or taken a dive.

Dr Morris, an expert on the embodiment of emotions and intentions in the Department of Psychology, says refs could be helped to spot the tell tale signs of cheating, sometimes even in the split seconds in which they occur.

“Referees have a very difficult job and given the demands of the task they do it remarkably well. We think even experienced professionals could enhance their decision-making by studying the categories of deceptive behaviour we have identified,” said Dr Morris.

Published in the Springer Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, and conducted in three separate studies, the research could also help by improving decisions based on video evidence.

Dr Morris’s research shows that there are distinct actions which footballers use – either individually or in any combination – when faking a fall. These include:

  • clutching their body where they haven’t been hit
  • taking an extra roll when they hit the ground
  • after being tackled taking fully controlled strides before falling
  • holding up both arms in the air, with open palms, chest thrust out, legs bent at the knee in an “archer’s bow” position

Soccer dive - Drogba

“In most dishonest tackles the behaviour itself does not indicate dishonesty – the deception is revealed in the timing and co-ordination of the behaviours,” said Dr Morris.

“But one action is unique to a faked fall – the archer’s bow. This occurs in many dives but biomechanically it does not occur in a natural fall. Instead instinctively the arms either go down in an attempt to cushion the fall or out to the side for balance.

“Although this behaviour is absurd, the fraudulent footballer does it to try to deceive the referee into believing that the tackle was illegal, and the histrionics are necessary to get the referee’s attention in the first place.

“This behaviour has no national boundaries; everyone does it, it even occurred unprompted during our research trials.”

Dr Morris said that a player who positions his body into this peculiar shape to show that he has been fouled as a result of a tackle looks quite bizarre.

“Moving the body like this is completely controlled behaviour so it clearly doesn’t show a genuine fall.

“The moment both arms go above the shoulder is a clear indication of deception,” he said.’

Having just coached a soccer tournament where I saw 1 or 2 suspect dives, this is highly interesting information in terms of the embodiment of emotion, and the actual trip vs. planned dive.

By the way, I love Drogba (pictured above). He is one of my favorite players. He is definitely taking a dive in this particular situation, however.

Have a wonderful week!

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Positive Psychology Coach

Guide To Self, Inc.

Danville, San Ramon, Alamo CA

Author: JohnSAdmin

John Schinnerer, Ph.D. is a U.C. Berkeley-trained emotion expert and founder of Guide To Self, a company that focuses on coaching individuals and groups to their potential using strengths-based development and positive psychology (the science of optimal human functioning). His private practice is located at 913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280, Danville, CA 94526. He may be reached at John @GuideToSelf.com. Most recently, Dr. John hosted Guide To Self Radio, a daily prime time radio show, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated summa cum laude from U.C. Berkeley with a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. John has been a coach and psychologist for over 10 years. Dr. John’s areas of expertise range from positive psychology, to emotional awareness, to moral development to parenting. He is a noted writer and speaker on topics such as employee engagement, emotional intelligence, making a good brain great, and creating a healthy and efficient workplace. His award-winning book is on proven ways to lead a meaningful and happy life and is entitled, “Guide To Self: The Beginner’s Guide To Managing Emotion and Thought.” He has written articles on corporate ethics and EQ in the workplace for Workspan magazine, HR.com, and Business Ethics. He has given numerous presentations and consulted with tens of thousands of people for organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Pixar, Sutter Health, SHRM, NCHRA, KNEW and KDIA. For over 17 years, Dr. John has been a loving father to four children.