Sequences of cognitive processes in golf-putting: comparative analysis across skill level

Luis Calmeiro, Gershon Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In this study we examine the feasibility of concurrent verbal protocols to capture cognitive processes in an on-going sport task. In addition, we also introduce the Discussion Analysis Tool (DAT) as an innovative method of mapping thought sequences of players varying in skill level.
Seven golfers (3 advanced players and 4 beginners) performed 40 trials 12-feet putts; 20 while thinking aloud (verbalization condition), and 20 in silent condition. Verbalizations were collected through means of a talk-aloud procedure, and recordings were transcribed verbatim for categorization of thoughts. Thought sequences were mapped utilizing DAT.
Transitional state diagrams of thought sequences indicated that advanced players cognitive processes revolved around gathering information and planning, whilst beginners focused on technical aspects of the motor performance. While at the beginning of the task advanced players were more likely to engage and spend more time in planning and gathering information, novices were more likely to engage their cognitive resources in technical instruction or gathering information, which in turn, was followed by technical instruction-related thoughts. Beginners were found to have more limited diagnosing capabilities than advanced players as the latter utilized this information to improve planning.
Advanced players showed a pattern of thought sequences that may represent more availability of cognitive resources for task performance. Contrary to beginners, advanced players execution phase was clearly connected to planning phase. The innovative methods used for recording, analyzing, and interpreting on-line thoughts of performers may shed light on attentional and self-regulatory mechanisms, which have implications for both research and practice purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventXth European Congress in Psychology - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 3 Jul 20076 Jul 2007


ConferenceXth European Congress in Psychology
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


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