Distributed Cognition in Sports Teams: Explaining successful and expert performance

Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6):1-15 (2014)
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In this article we use a hybrid methodology to better understand the skilful performance of sports teams as an exemplar of distributed cognition. We highlight key differences between a team of individual experts and an expert team, and outline the kinds of shared characteristics likely to be found in an expert team. We focus on the way that shared knowledge contributes to expert team performance. In particular, we suggest that certain kinds of shared knowledge and shared skill, potentially developed through a team’s history of playing and training together, facilitate successful coordination. These kinds of shared knowledge and skill may be less developed in a team of experts without a shared history. Exploring the expert performance of sports teams informs our understanding of distributed cognition and collaboration more generally and creates avenues for further philosophical and empirical investigation.



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