Ecological cognition : expert decision-making behaviour in sport

ARAUJO, D, HRISTOVSKI, R, SEIFERT, L, CARVALHO, J and DAVIDS, Keith (2017). Ecological cognition : expert decision-making behaviour in sport. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

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Expert decision-making can be directly assessed, if sport action is understood as an expression of embedded and embodied cognition. Here, we discuss evidence for this claim, starting with a critical review of research literature on the perceptual-cognitive basis for expertise. In reviewing how performance and underlying processes are conceived and captured in extant sport psychology, we evaluate arguments in favour of a key role for actions in decision-making, situated in a performance environment. Key assumptions of an ecological dynamics perspective are also presented, highlighting how behaviours emerge from the continuous interactions in the performer-environment system. Perception is of affordances; and action, as an expression of cognition, is the realization of an affordance and emerges under constraints. We also discuss the role of knowledge and consciousness in decision-making behaviour. Finally, we elaborate on the specificities of investigating and understanding decision-making in sport from this perspective. Specifically, decision-making concerns the choice of action modes when perceiving an affordance during a course of action, as well as the selection of a particular affordance, amongst many that exist in a landscape in a sport performance environment. We conclude by pointing to some applications for the practice of sport psychology and coaching and identifying avenues for future research.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 13:34
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:32

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