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Title: Decision making skill and complex problem solving in team sports
Author: Stevenson, David M.
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis aimed to enhance understanding of the nature of knowledge bases possessed by elite sports performers which underpin perceptual-cognitive and decision making skills. Two main theories were considered; Active Control of Thought (ACT*) and Representational Redescription (RR). The purpose of Study 1 was to examine the anticipatory ability of elite and non-elite players in football and hockey. The results indicated that elite players in both sports were quicker and more accurate in their expectation of pass destination. Study 2 aimed to understand the extent to which knowledge is transferable. The results indicated that elite players’ knowledge is relatively domain specific although some elements of underlying task strategy may transfer. The objective of Study 3 was to explore the means by which elite and non-elite players in football and hockey identify and differentiate between possible decisions. Results showed elite players’ rationale was based on deeper theoretical principles whilst non-experts utilised relatively superficial information and naïve theories. Study 4 focussed on problem representations of elite and non-elite football players. Results revealed elite players’ representations were more pertinent, connected and articulated in a more effective manner. Overall, the findings from the current thesis provide advanced understanding of the knowledge bases responsible for perceptual-cognitive and decision making skill, and such understanding may assist attempts to enhance athletes’ performance and support future research.
Supervisor: Lavallee, David; Coffee, Pete Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Decision making ; Perceptual-cognitive skill ; Sports teams ; Hockey players ; Football players ; Knowledge management ; Athletic ability