Anticipation and Decision-Making Skill: From Conceptual Frameworks to Applied Interventions Using Simulation Platforms

Tuesday 25/06/2013 13:00-14:00
Location: Brunel University, Howell Building, Room H313
Speaker: Prof. A. Mark Williams, Head of Subject Area in the School of Sport and Education, Brunel University, London


An overview is presented of contemporary research on anticipation and decision-making in sport and other domains that involve considerable pressure such as medicine, law enforcement and military combat. The important perceptual-cognitive skills that facilitate superior anticipation and decision-making are identified and illustrations provided as to how these skills interact in a dynamic manner during performance. Our current understanding of how these skills are acquired is highlighted and the extent to which the underlying processes and mechanisms are influenced by emotions such as anxiety and may be specific to a particular domain and/or role within that domain discussed. Next, recent attempts to facilitate the more rapid acquisition of anticipation and decision-making using simulation-based training environments coupled with instruction and feedback on task performance are reviewed. Finally, a summary is provided of how research on elite performers can help inform cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists who are interested in capturing and enhancing anticipation and decision-making expertise across various domains.

A. Mark Williams is a Professor and Head of Subject Area in the School of Sport and Education, Brunel University, London. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of Expertise, one of the institution’s interdisciplinary research centers. His research interests focus on the neural and psychological mechanisms underpinning expertise and how its acquisition may be facilitated through effective practice and instructional interventions. He has published more than 130 full articles in peer-reviewed journals in numerous fields including exercise and sports science (e.g., Journal of Motor Behavior, Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sports Medicine) and experimental psychology (e.g., British Journal of Psychology, British Medical Journal, Experimental Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Neuroscience Letters, The Lancet, Acta Psychologica, Visual Cognition, QJEP, Applied Cognitive Psychology). He has written 13 books, 60 book chapters, 60 professional articles, 85 journal abstracts, and has delivered almost 200 keynote and invited lectures in 26 countries and four continents. He is Executive Editor for the journal Human Movement Science and Expert Performance Section Editor for the Journal of Sports Science. He also sits on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, the Scandinavian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport and Frontiers of Cognition and has acted as a Guest Editor for special issues of Journal of Motor Behavior, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. He has mentored seven Post-Doctoral Research Fellows and over 40 Research Higher Degree students. He has acted as a reviewer for more than 30 journals in the exercise and sports sciences, experimental psychology, education and behavioral neurosciences and several funding agencies in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has been the recipient of prestigious Distinguished Scholar Awards from some of the foremost institutions in the field such as the International Society of Sport Psychology and the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. He has been a Visiting Professor at Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, University of the Mediterranean, University of Salzburg, University of Leuven, the Norwegian Institute of Sport, and Queensland University of Technology. Over the last 10 years, he has received more than $6 million in external contracts and grants from research councils in Australia (Australian Research Council) and the UK (Economic and Social Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; British Academy), commercial companies such as Nike and Umbro, as well as various sports governing bodies and professional sports.