But I can’t pass that far! The influence of motor skill on decision making

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The influence of motor skill on perceptual-cognitive and perceptual-motor decision making has been theorised but not verified empirically.


Expert (n = 19), developmental (n = 20), and lesser-skilled netballers (n = 19) completed tests designed to evaluate three different components of domain-specific expertise: (i) motor skill-execution; (ii) perceptual-cognitive decision making; and (iii) perceptual-motor decision making.


Each of the three measures was found to improve commensurate with domain-specific skill. Decisions requiring movements (perceptual-motor) elicited more accurate decision making than simple verbal responses (perceptual-cognitive), irrespective of participant skill. Although motor skill was found to be related to the successful execution of a most appropriate movement in a game situation, it was not found to limit the nature of the decision made by participants. No evidence was found to support the supposition that lesser-skilled participants bias their perceptual-cognitive decisions towards ones supported by their motor ability.


Results fail to comprehensively support the contemporary models for the development of perceptual-cognitive and perceptual-motor skill in sport.

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