Information Processing Models
In sport, we have to learn and perform a wide range of perceptual motor skills and to select the appropriate skill action for a given situation. Galligan et al. (2000) identifies the way we make that skill selection is through our information processing system. This system is known as the DCR process - we Detect information, Compare it with previous experiences and then React.
Two of the better-known models which are generally referred to are Welford's (Welford 1968) and Whiting's (Whiting 1969). Both models reflect the same process although they use slightly different terminology. The process is:
Welford's model suggests that we:
The sensory information relevant to the situation is stored in the short-term memory. The information is taken in through the senses prior to a decision being made in three main ways. These are:
All information gathered from the various sensory inputs is stored for a split second in the short-term memory before it is processed. It is suggested that the short-term memory can only hold up to seven pieces of information and that it is retained for less than a minute.
The long-term memory, which appears to have a limitless capacity, contains information relating to past experiences.
The decision process takes place by comparing the current situation, held in the short-term memory, with previous experiences, held in the long-term memory, to determine an appropriate action.
The action is performed with reference to the movement pattern stored in long-term memory. Once the action is completed, the situation and result are stored in the long-term memory for future reference.
Whiting identifies three stages:
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