Nonverbal behaviour (NVB) as means of expressing emotions is an important channel for social interaction (Riggio & Riggio, 2012). Nonverbal cues influence others through mechanisms such as emotional contagion (see e.g. Hatfield et al., 1994) or impression formation (see e.g. Warr & Knapper, 1968). These are important aspects in team sports, but research is sparse.
A series of studies aiming at exploring NVB during handball matches will be presented. First, a coding scheme that reliably captures NVB in the post-shot period, the Handball Post-Shot Behavior Coding Scheme (H-PSB-CS) was developed (Moesch et al., 2015b). Thereafter, data from 616 post-scoring coding situations from 18 female elite handball matches were analyzed using the H-PSB-CS. Results showed among others that players displayed more NVB after scoring in playoff compared to league matches, that the bigger leading a team had, the more NVB were displayed after scoring, and that the amount of NVB declined over the course of a match (Moesch et al., 2015a). Furthermore, the interaction of the ongoing history of events of the game (i.e., how the team performs) and touch (but not gesture) significantly predicted subsequent performance: A high degree of touch when playing well, and a low degree of touch when playing poorly were related with positive subsequent performance, while, showing much touch when playing poorly, or showing little touch when playing well predicted negative performance (Moesch et al., 2015c). The findings of the presented studies resulted in low effect sizes, which can be due to the fact that it is difficult to control all external variables in such complex contexts. However, there are many advantages of using behavioural observation, for example high ecological validity.
14th European Congress of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC). 14th - 19th July 2015, Bern Switzerland. "Sport psychology - theories and applications for performance, Health and humanity"