The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport

Araujo, Duarte, Davids, Keith W., & Hristovski, Robert (2006) The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7(6), pp. 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 emphasize 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.

Key Words: Decision making, ecological psychology, dynamical systems, cognition, action, representative tasks.

Impact and interest:

220 citations in Scopus
175 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 4816
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Decision making, ecological psychology, dynamical systems, cognition, action, representative tasks
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2006.07.002
ISSN: 1469-0292
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 01 Sep 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:28

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