Ecological approaches to cognition and action in sport and exercise: ask not only what you do, but where you do it?

ARAUJO, D and DAVIDS, K (2009). Ecological approaches to cognition and action in sport and exercise: ask not only what you do, but where you do it? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 40 (1), 5-37.

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In recent decades, concepts and ideas from James J. Gibson's theory of direct perception in ecological psychology have been applied to the study of how perception and action regulate sport performance. This article examines the influence of different streams of thought in ecological psychology for studying cognition and action in the diverse behavioural contexts of sport and exercise. In discussing the origins of ecological psychology it can be concluded that psychologists such as Lewin, and to some extent Heider, provided the initial impetus for the development of key ideas. We argue that the papers in this special issue clarify that the different schools of thinking in ecological psychology have much to contribute to theoretical and practical developments in sport and exercise psychology. For example, Gibson emphasized and formalized how the individual is coupled with the environment; Brunswik raised the issue of the ontology of probability in human behaviour and the problem of representative design for experimental task constraints; Barker looked carefully into extra-individual behavioural contexts and Bronfenbrenner presented insights pertinent to the relations between behaviour contexts, and macro influences on behaviour. In this overview, we highlight essential issues from the main schools of thought of relevance to the contexts of sport and exercise, and we consider some potential theoretical linkages with dynamical systems theory.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2011 09:02
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2011 09:02

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