An ecological approach to expertise effects in decision-making in a simulated sailing regatta

ARAÚJO, D, DAVIDS, K and SERPA, S (2005). An ecological approach to expertise effects in decision-making in a simulated sailing regatta. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6 (6), 671-692.

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Objectives Following an ecological approach, expertise effects on decision-making in sailing were studied. Dynamic tasks in sailing were provided through interactive computer simulations, used to reveal the utilisation of information, and the active exploration of ecological constraints by participants. Methods and design Sailors (n=35) were divided into three skill groups, according to ranking: Expert, Skilled, and Intermediate. There was also a non-sailors group (N=23). During six successive phases of a computer-simulated regatta, a concurrent verbal protocol analysis was used to measure utilization of four sources of available information: adversary, spatial, manoeuvres and wind. Simultaneously, participants pressed keys on a keyboard, registering two categories of actions used to explore the task: technical actions and adjustment actions. The outcome variables, final classification and total time were also recorded. Results Expertise level was significantly predicted by total time. Statistical analyses showed that non-sailors significantly differed from sailors in the use of adversary and wind information during the regatta. But, there were no significant differences among the sailors' groups. Non-sailors performed significantly more actions than sailors, during almost all the regatta. However, polynomial trend analysis revealed that each group of sailors exhibited specific patterns of information utilization and performed actions. Conclusions Data demonstrated that the better the sailor, the better was performance on a simulated regatta. Decision-making in sailing is characterized by non-linear accumulated effects of exploring and using informational constraints in a regatta, which are dependent on the level of individual attunement to sport-specific information.

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: 671-692
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2011 16:00
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 00:45

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