The Influence of Crowd Noise upon Judging Decisions in Muay Thai


Background: Home advantage has been demonstrated across a number of sports, yet questions still remain over the causes of the phenomenon. Crowd effects on sport officials have been one mechanism proposed in the literature. This study attempted to investigate the impact of crowd noise on home advantage by examining the influence of crowd noise on the judgement decisions of Muay Thai officials. Method: Using a repeated measures design, 10 experienced Muay Thai judges observed a video of a Muay Thai contest in two different conditions: one with and one without crowd noise. Judges recorded the number of strikes each competitor made using mechanical counters with a comparison made between conditions. Results: Judges awarded 1.23 more strikes on average in the presence of crowd noise when compared to the no crowd noise condition. Crowd noise influenced some judges greatly but other far less. The results from a within subject ANOVA analysis suggested the differences between noise conditions were statistically significant (F(1,39) = 4.513, P = . 04, η2 = . 104) as was the home advantage effect (F(1,39) = 4.087, P = .05, η2 = . 095). Conclusion: Crowd noise increased the scores of Muay Thai judges resulting in an advantage to the home competitor. Possible reasons for the findings include informational conformity, the use of a noise heuristic, cue learning or perceptual errors. Avenues for future research are offered.

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Myers, T. , Nevill, A. & Al-Nakeeb, Y. (2012). The Influence of Crowd Noise upon Judging Decisions in Muay Thai. Advances in Physical Education, 2, 148-152. doi: 10.4236/ape.2012.24026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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