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

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Bruce, L., Farrow, D., Raynor, A. J., & Mann, D. (2012). But I can't pass that far! The influence of motor skill on decision making. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13(2), 152-161.


Objectives: The influence of motor skill on perceptual-cognitive and perceptual-motor decision making has been theorised but not verified empirically. Method: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: Results fail to comprehensively support the contemporary models for the development of perceptual-cognitive and perceptual-motor skill in sport.