Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Cognitive Algebra in Sport Decision-Making

  • 229 Accesses

  • 12 Citations


Two studies examined whether simple algebraic rules that have been shown to be operative in many applied settings may also be found in sport decision-making. The theoretical framework for these studies was the Functional Theory of Cognition (Anderson, Contributions to information integration theory. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1996). The way in which novices but already experienced team sport players (soccer, basketball, and handball players) combine different informational cues (relative importance of the game, numerical status of the team, current score, and time left to play) for deciding a quick restart of play near the end of a match was examined. The basic finding are consistent with the proposition that the knowledge bases at work for judging the appropriateness of this type of sport decisions are structured according to simple algebraic rules.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. N.H. Anderson (1991) Contributions to Information Integration Theory Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ

  2. N.H. Anderson (1996) A functional Theory of Cognition Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ

  3. F. Azar E. Mullet G. Vinsonneau (1999) ArticleTitleThe propensity to forgive: findings from Lebanon Journal of Peace Research 36 169–181

  4. Dracon, N. (1999), La prise de décision au rugby [Decision-making in rugby]. Caen: Université de caen, thèse de doctorat.

  5. Frileux, S, Lelièvre, C., Muñoz Sastre, M.T., Mullet, E. and Sorum, P. (2003), Deciding to end a patient’s life, Journal of Medical Ethics, in press.

  6. M. Girard E. Mullet S. Calahan (2002) ArticleTitleMathematics of forgiveness American Journal of Psychology 115 351–375

  7. L. Guillet D. Hermand E. Mullet (2002) ArticleTitleCognitive processes involved in the appraisal of stress Stress and Health 18 91–102 Occurrence Handle10.1002/smi.927

  8. W.F. Helsen J.L. Starkes (1999) ArticleTitleMultidimensional approach to skilled perception and performance in sport Applied Cognitive Psychology 13 1–27 Occurrence Handle10.1002/(SICI)1099-0720(199902)13:1<1::AID-ACP540>3.3.CO;2-K

  9. D. Hermand E. Mullet S. Lavieville (1997) ArticleTitleEstimation of the combined effect of tobacco and alcohol on cancer risks Journal of Health Psychology 2 481–491

  10. C. Karpowicz Lazreg E. Mullet (2001) ArticleTitleJudging the pleasantness of form-color combinations American Journal of Psychology 114 511–533

  11. E. Kioumourtzoglou T. Kourtessis M. Michalopoulou V. Derri (1998) ArticleTitleDifferences in several perceptual abilities between experts and novices in basketball, volleyball, and water-polo Perceptual and Motor Skills 86 899–912

  12. V. Léoni E. Mullet G. Chasseigne (2002) ArticleTitleAging and intuitive physics Acta Psychologica 111 29–43

  13. R. Lerda R. Garzunkel P. Therme (1996) ArticleTitleAnalogic transfer: a strategy for adapting to spatial constraints: the case of a duel in soccer International Journal of Sport Psychology 27 133–145

  14. L. Liégeois G. Chasseigne S. Papin E. Mullet (2003) ArticleTitleImproving high-school students’ understanding of potential difference in simple electric circuits International Journal of Science Education 25 1–17

  15. D. Macri E. Mullet (2003) ArticleTitleEmployment and family as determinants of anticipated life satisfaction among young Greek adults Community, Work and Family 6 197–215 Occurrence Handle10.1080/13668800302543

  16. Makris, I. and Mullet, E. (2003), Judging the pleasantness of contour–rhythm–pitch–timbre combinations, American Journal of Psychology, in press.

  17. S.L. McPherson (2000) ArticleTitleExpert-novice differences in planning strategies during collegiate singles tennis competition Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 22 39–62

  18. M.T. Munoz Sastre E. Mullet P.C. Sorum (2000) ArticleTitleSelf-assessment of inebriation from external indices Additictive Behaviors 25 663–681

  19. J.-E. Rink K.E. French B.-L. Tjeerdsma (1996) ArticleTitleFoundations for the learning and instruction of sport and games Journal of Teaching in Physical Education 15 399–417

  20. P. Rulence-Pâques E. Mullet (1998) ArticleTitlePerception of surface and inference of surface: the case of the rectangle Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 69 1–27

  21. P.C. Sorum M.T. Munoz Sastre E. Mullet A. Gamelin (2001) ArticleTitleEliciting patient disutilities for the adverse outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation Resuscitation 48 265–273 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0300-9572(00)00260-4

  22. J.L. Starkes F. Allard S. Lindley K. O’Reilly (1994) ArticleTitleAbilities and skill in basketball International Journal of Sport Psychology 25 249–265

  23. J.L. Starkes W. Helsen R. Jack (2001) Expert performance in sport and dance R.N. Singer H.A. Hausenblas C.M. Janelle (Eds) Handbook of Sport Psychology Wiley New York 174–204

  24. K.T. Thomas J.R. Thomas (1994) ArticleTitleDeveloping expertise in sport: the relation of knowledge and performance International Journal of Sport Psychology 25 295–312

  25. I. Vergeer J.-M. Hogg (1999) ArticleTitleCoaches’ decision policies about the participation of injured athletes in competition Sport Psychologist 13 42–56

  26. A. Vom Hofe (1995) ArticleTitleThe problem of skill specificity in complex athletic tasks : a revisitation International Journal of Sport Psychology 26 249–261

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Etienne Mullet.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rulence-Pâques, P., Fruchart, E., Dru, V. et al. Cognitive Algebra in Sport Decision-Making. Theor Decis 58, 387–406 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11238-005-3890-8

Download citation


  • Knowledge Base
  • Integration Theory
  • Team Sport
  • Information Integration
  • Basic Finding