The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport

ARAUJO, D, DAVIDS, K and HRISTOVSKI, R (2006). The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7 (6), 653-676.

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Objectives: The aim of this position paper is to consider the decision-making process as an integral part of goal-directed behaviour influenced by functional constraints at the scale of the environment–athlete relationship. To achieve this aim we discuss relevant theoretical ideas from ecological psychology, focusing particularly on ecological dynamics, as a contrast to more traditional perspectives on decision-making behaviour. To support the argumentation we briefly describe some recent empirical data from studies of sports that emphasise this alternative perspective on decision making. We conclude that traditional approaches analyse decisions as if they were not grounded, i.e., expressed behaviourally through actions in performance contexts. It is argued that an ecological approach should analyse affordances or action possibilities, when studying cognition in sport, demanding an integration of theories and ideas from the natural sciences in order to understand concepts like information and intentionality. Conclusion: Decision-making behaviour is best considered at the level of the performer–environment relationship and viewed as emerging from the interactions of individuals with environmental constraints over time towards specific functional goals.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 653-676
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2011 15:56
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 00:45

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