3D technology of Sony Bloggie has no advantage in decision-making of tennis serve direction: A randomized placebo-controlled study

Sicong Liu, Jason Ritchie, Camilo Sáenz-Moncaleano, Savanna K. Ward, Cody Paulsen, Tyler Klein, Oscar Gutierrez, Gershon Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study aimed at exploring whether 3D technology enhances tennis decision-making under the conceptual framework of human performance model. A 3 (skill-level: varsity, club, recreational) × 3 (experimental condition: placebo, weak 3D [W3D], strong 3D [S3D]) between-participant design was used. Allocated to experimental conditions by a skill-level stratified randomization, 105 tennis players judged tennis serve direction from video scenarios and rated their perceptions of enjoyment, flow, and presence during task performance. Results showed that varsity players made more accurate decisions than less skilled ones. Additionally, applying 3D technology to typical video displays reduced tennis players’ decision-making accuracy, although wearing the 3D glasses led to a placebo effect that shortened the decision-making reaction time. The unexpected negative effect of 3D technology on decision-making was possibly due to participants being more familiar to W3D than to S3D, and relatedly, a suboptimal task-technology match. Future directions for advancing this area of research are offered. Highlights 3D technology augments binocular depth cues to tradition video displays, and thus results in the attainment of more authentic visual representation. This process enhances task fidelity in researching perceptual-cognitive skills in sports. The paper clarified both conceptual and methodological difficulties in testing 3D technology in sports settings. Namely, the nomenclature of video footage (with/without 3D technology) and the possible placebo effect (arising from wearing glasses of 3D technology) merit researchers' attention. Participants varying in level of domain-specific expertise were randomized into viewing conditions using a placebo-controlled design. Measurement consisted of both participants' subjective experience (i.e., presence, flow, and enjoyment) and objective performance (i.e., accuracy and reaction time) in a decision-making task. Findings revealed that wearing glasses of 3D technology resulted in a placebo effect that shortened participants' reaction times in decision-making. Moreover, participants' decision-making accuracy decreased when viewing video scenarios using 3D technology. The findings generated meaningful implications regarding applying 3D technology to sports research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-610
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 28 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D technology
  • decision-making
  • placebo effect
  • subjective experience
  • tennis


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