Deception has no acute or residual effect on cycling time trial performance but negatively effects perceptual responses

Hollie S Jones, Emily L Williams, David Marchant, Andy Sparks, Craig Bridge, Adrian Midgley, Lars McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Feedback deception is used to explore the importance of expectations on pacing strategy and performance in self-paced exercise. The deception of feedback from a previous performance explores the importance of experience knowledge on exercise behaviour. This study aimed to explore the acute and residual effects of the deception of previous performance speed on perceptual responses and performance in cycling time trials. Design A parallel-group design. Methods Twenty cyclists were assigned to a control or deception group and performed 16.1 km time trials. Following a ride-alone baseline time trial (FBL), participants performed against a virtual avatar representing their FBL performance (PACER), then completed a subsequent ride-alone time trial (SUB). The avatar in the deception group, however, was unknowingly set 2% faster than their FBL. Results Both groups performed faster in PACER than FBL and SUB (p < 0.05), but SUB was not significantly different to FBL. Affect was more negative and Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) were higher in PACER than FBL in the deception group (p < 0.05). Conclusions The presence of a visual pacer acutely facilitated time trial performance, but deceptive feedback had no additional effect on performance. The deception group, however, experienced more negative affect and higher RPE in PACER, whereas these responses were absent in the control group. The performance improvement was not sustained in SUB, suggesting no residual performance effects occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-776
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number9
Early online date12 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Affect
  • Expectations
  • Pacing strategy
  • Perceived exertion
  • Visual feedback


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