Seeing really is believing

Want to know why sports fans get so worked up when they think the referee has wrongly called their team’s pass forward, their player offside, or their serve as a fault?

Research from The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and the Queensland Brain Institute found people actually see their team’s actions in a different way than they see those of other teams. The study, which was published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, randomly divided volunteers into blue and red teams and let them judge the relative speeds of hand actions performed by the team they support, and their opponents, in a competitive situation.

Lead researcher Dr Pascal Molenberghs said results showed the brain responded differently when people saw actions of their team members compared to the opposing side, but that this was not as simple as a bias in opinion. “Our study found that people quickly identified with their group and that they consistently judged their own team’s actions as being a fraction of a second faster than those of non-team members, when in reality the actions were identical,” Dr Molenberghs said.

via Seeing really is believing.

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