Exploring to learn and learning to explore

Guillaume Hacques*, John Komar, Matt Dicks, Ludovic Seifert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In respect to ecological psychology processes of attunement and calibration, this critical review focusses on how exploratory behaviors may contribute to skilled perception and action, with particular attention to sport. Based on the theoretical insights of Gibson (1966) and Reed (1996), exploratory and performatory actions have been differentiated in numerous experiments to study the perception of opportunities of action. The distinction between exploratory and performatory actions has informed the study of infant behavior in developmental psychology. In the current article, we highlight limitations with this distinction in the study of sports performers. We propose that a dynamic view of exploratory behavior would reveal how individuals develop exploratory activity that generates information about the fit between environmental properties and action capabilities. In this aim, practitioners should: (i) give learners the opportunity to safely develop exploratory behaviors even when they act outside their action boundary; and (ii) guide learners to search for more reliable information to develop exploratory behaviors that would enhance the transfer of skills to various performance contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1379
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number4
Early online date10 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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