News FocusSOCIETY FOR INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY

Soccer and the Art of Deception

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Science  21 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6015, pp. 280
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6015.280-a

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Summary

It's common to see a soccer player fake a collision with an opponent and writhe on the ground in hopes of getting a free kick; goals have been scored and games won on wrongly awarded free kicks. To one group of researchers, the deceptive practice provided a unique research opportunity. They reported at the meeting that they have found empirical support in the antics of footballers for game-theory predictions about dishonest signals. And they have come up with ways the game might be improved.