The two modes of an athlete: Dual-process theories in the field of sport

Furley, Philip; Schweizer, Geoffrey; Bertrams, Alex (2015). The two modes of an athlete: Dual-process theories in the field of sport. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 8(1), pp. 106-124. Routledge 10.1080/1750984X.2015.1022203

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The goal of the present article is to introduce dual-process theories – in particular the default-interventionist model – as an overarching framework for attention-related research in sports. Dual-process theories propose that two different types of processing guide human behavior. Type 1 processing is independent of available working memory capacity (WMC), whereas Type 2 processing depends on available working memory capacity. We review the latest theoretical developments on dual-process theories and present evidence for the validity of dual-process theories from various domains. We demonstrate how existing sport psychology findings can be integrated within the dual-process framework. We illustrate how future sport psychology research might benefit from adopting the dual-process framework as a meta-theoretical framework by arguing that the complex interplay between Type 1 and Type 2 processing has to be taken into account in order to gain a more complete understanding of the dynamic nature of attentional processing during sport performance at varying levels of expertise. Finally, we demonstrate that sport psychology applications might benefit from the dual-process perspective as well: dual-process theories are able to predict which behaviors can be more successfully executed when relying on Type 1 processing and which behaviors benefit from Type 2 processing.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education

UniBE Contributor:

Bertrams, Alexander Gregor


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education








Alexander Gregor Bertrams-Pencik

Date Deposited:

08 May 2015 14:11

Last Modified:

19 Jul 2018 11:55

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

dual-process; working memory; attention; sport




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