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Egon Brunswik proposed the concept of “representative design” for psychological experimentation, which has historically been overlooked or confused with another of Brunswik’s terms, ecological validity. In this article, we reiterate the distinction between these two important concepts and highlight the relevance of the term representative design for sports psychology, practice, and experimental design. We draw links with ideas on learning design in the constraints-led approach to motor learning and nonlinear pedagogy. We propose the adoption of a new term, representative learning design, to help sport scientists, experimental psychologists, and pedagogues recognize the potential application of Brunswik’s original concepts, and to ensure functionality and action fidelity in training and learning environments.
Ross A. Pinder, Keith Davids, and Ian Renshaw are with the School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Duarte Araújo is with the Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.