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 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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