Study: Perception affects batting average

December 16, 2005

University of Virginia scientists say a baseball player's batting average correlates with the player's ability to perceive ball size.

The researchers say their study documents when players are hitting well they clearly perceive the ball to be bigger. When they are hitting less well, they perceive the ball to be smaller.

The interactions between perception and action might be as interlinked as athletes believe them to be, said cognitive psychology doctoral candidate Jessica Witt.

"It's interesting all the optical information is the same -- the ball is only one size -- but it looks differently depending on the individual performance of the athlete," Witt said. "It's clear that the way we see the world affects the way we perform in it."

She and University of Virginia Psychology Professor Dennis Proffitt describe their research in a paper appearing in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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