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Influence of crowd noise on soccer refereeing consistency in soccerBalmer, Nigel J.; Nevill, Alan M.; Lane, Andrew M.; Ward, Paul; Williams, A. Mark; Fairclough, Stephen (University of South Alabama, 2007)Recent experimental evidence suggests that the noise of a partisan home crowd may influence soccer officials to make an imbalance of decisions in favor of the home side (Nevill, Balmer, & Williams, 2002). The purpose of the present study was to test the notion that biased decisions in favor of the home team are associated with increased anxiety and arousal due to increased difficulty of making accurate decisions when refereeing in the presence of crowd noise. Using the same video footage used by Nevill et al. (2002), 26 participants recorded decisions when fouls occurred. Participants completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 immediately after performing the refereeing task. Degree of mental effort was recorded using self-report and physiological measures. Logistic regression indicated that participants were biased in favor of the home team in their evaluation of fouls carried out by one visiting and one home team. Significant relationships were found between decision bias and increases in cognitive anxiety and mental effort with crowd noise. Hierarchical regression indicated that mental effort and cognitive anxiety combined to account for 36% of the variance in decision bias. Results suggest that crowd noise is associated with increased anxiety and mental effort, and that referees attempt to cope with this increased anxiety and effort by giving a more popular decision in favor of the home team.