Friday, 2 July 2010
As the World Cup circles get tighter and tighter then the question of penalties raises its head. Quarter Finals now and who would bet against them occurring somewhere...
Now that England are out and the autosuggested fear of missing becomes less of an issue (though of course the Dutch are still in the competition), attention has switched to the fears of the goalkeeper, who is often assumed to be the only one in a penalty shootout with nothing to lose.
Not so, or so this article suggests.
Ofer Azar, a Behavioural Economist, argues that the goalkeepers have a very real fear during a penalty which can be roughly (perhaps wrongly) translated as the fear of being seen to do nothing. Although it's statistically better for them to stay in the middle of the goal, they tend to feel the need to dive spectacularly one way or another even if they know this is a strategy doomed to failure.
This is a kind of inverse Omission Bias (the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse than equally harmful omissions or inactions) which could be argued as an emotional flaw in logic which dogged England, France et al at this World Cup - the fear of being seen as inactive (i.e. uncaring, lacking in passion) led to players overdoing things (think of all those long raking aimless balls from Gerrard, the bizarre crossfield dribbling of Ribery).
Posted by Loki at 13:19