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Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte

On-line version ISSN 1989-5879Print version ISSN 1578-8423


ARAUJO, Duarte et al. Decision-making, is it an observable behaviour?: discussion of contrasting theoretical perspectives in use in the study of sport performance. CPD [online]. 2016, vol.16, n.1, pp.183-196. ISSN 1989-5879.

In this paper we critically evaluate some limitations of traditional research on decision-making that focus mainly on internal mental states, and provide little consideration of individuals' actions.  We present arguments based on empirical findings that imply that psychological measures of decision-making do not need to be construed as inferring a role for internalized mechanisms in each participant. Instead, we consider some weaknesses of assessing decision-making as an internally-located process in each participant. We discuss frameworks based on behavior, which view the ongoing contextualized activity of athletes during sport tasks, as expressions of psychological processes. We show how analyses of observable variables can highlight the complex, intertwined relationship between psychological processes of perception, action and cognition during goal-directed behaviours. Understanding processes of cognition, perception and action in this way may be enhanced by identifying key directly measurable properties that capture the individual-environment relationship.

Keywords : Behavior; cognition; measurement; environment; decision; circunstâncias; task.

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