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Psychology 2420

Psychology Applied to Sports

Dennis Shaffer

Credit hours: 3
GEC categories:
Prerequisites: Psychology 1100, 2220, and 2300

Text Books:

Title Author(s) Publisher ISBN

Example Syllabus: Psychology2420Syllabus.pdf

Course Objectives: This course will examine how psychological principles can be applied to understand the behavior and enhance the performance of athletes, coaches, umpires, and fans. In the class we will draw from areas in psychology such as cognition, perception, and statistics for the behavioral sciences that have special application to performance in sports.

Course Content: Some of the questions we will explore will be: What makes professional baseball batters better than novices? What happened to the .400 hitter in baseball? How do football players know where to run to tackle someone? Do athlete’s conscious perceptions of the world determine their performance? Do managers and fans know what builds a winning baseball team? Specific topics that will be considered will include baseball hitting and fielding, basketball perception, handedness and eye dominance, perception of 3-D space, perceptual navigational strategies in football, baseball, and Frisbee catching, expert-novice differences in sport, animal locomotion, predicting motion, naïve beliefs of athletes and announcers, perception and performance of baseball umpires, and statistical misrepresentation in sports.

Method of Presentation: The course is intended to be very interactive. We will discuss primary source articles in the fields of perception and sport every class period presented by me or one of the students in class.

Method of Evaluation: Students will be expected to read 8-10 articles per week, and discuss issues related to the articles in class. Students will be assigned several general articles to present for which they will lead discussion. During the course students will also design and conduct a research study or analyze data that will investigate some aspect of psychology with special application to sports.


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