Audience and coactuacion effects in free throw
The aim of this study was to analyse audience and coactor effects in a simple motor task, the free throw. Participants were 40 male high school students, aged 14 to 17 years, that were familiar (N = 20) or unfamiliar (N = 20) with the task proposed. Performance was examined while subjects acted in three different experimental situations: a) alone; b) in front of a passive audience of 10 peers; and c) throwing together with a peer, with no external observation. Significant effects were observed for familiarity with the task (F1,38 = 79.9, P<0.001), experimental situation (alone, audience or coacting) (F2,76 = 7.7, P< 0.001) and interaction (F2,76 = 4.7, P<0.01). Scores in each of the three sitautions were significantly higher for the group familiar with the task. Both passive audience and presence of coactors significantly reduced number of scores in comparison to shots taken alone only in the group unfamiliar with the task. Our results confirm the importance of a better knowledge of social facilitation during performance of motor tasks in sport setting, and the necessity of considering both audience and coactor effects while learning new motor abilities.
KEY WORDS: social facilitation, free throw, audience.