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The #PsychMapping Model Project

Authorship statement: First authorship rests with the project leader, Alexander T. Latinjak, who invites collaborators in writing to become co-authors in potential derivative publications. It is our intention that anyone who makes a significant contribution to the final model will be invited as a co-author. It is also our intention to acknowledge the contribution of all other project participants. Upon invitation, invited co-authors may decline the invitation.


  • In 2020, we published the Knowledge Map of Sport and Exercise Psychology, based on a conceptual review of the Sport and Exercise Psychology (SEP) literature (Click for the article). In the #KnoweldgeMap, the concepts used in the SEP could be grouped into three main blocks: external variables, personal descriptors, and psychological skills. In addition, four auxiliary clusters helped connect the three main clusters and create a simplified model: (a) linked external variables to personal descriptors; (b) related personal descriptors with external variables; (c) related personal descriptors with psychological skills; and (d) connected psychological skills with personal descriptors.

  • The #KnoweldgeMap has usefulness explaining people and their behaviour, but it is oversimplified and was not built for that purpose. The clusters were not selected to best simplify why people are who and how they are and why they behave the way they do. They were created to summarise and group concepts used in scientific literature. The #KnoweldgeMap is more of an organizational scheme than a model. We often call it a wardrobe of scientific concepts.

  • Further reflection on the #KnoweldgeMap has prompted criticism of some of the core principles of the #KnoweldgeMap. It is arguable that: (a) not all personal descriptors directly affect performance; just the descriptive states; (b) psychological skills alone cannot adequately explain the process of self-regulation; (c) external variables can sometimes directly affect performance; or (d) concepts such as resilience or mental toughness are not strictly necessary to explain people and their behaviour.


  • With this project, we want to further develop the #KnoweldgeMap and consciously turn it into a holistic model that explains globally who people are and why they behave the way they do. We want this to be a conceptual model that explains in general terms how clusters of concepts interact with each other to explain life experiences. Our goal is not to create an explanatory model that deals with the mechanisms underlying the relationships between concepts.

  • We want to develop the #PsychMapping model from an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective, so we would like to invite as many different participants as possible to the discussions leading to the final model. Our goal is to build a psychologically centered model that is nevertheless sensitive to concepts from other sciences such as economics, sociology, pedagogy, politics, architecture, sports science, biology or medicine.

  • In essence, the #PsychMapping model is a model that focuses on individuals and their relationship to external variables, including society. However, we also aim to create a derived version of the individual model that focuses more on societal variables than individual ones.

  • The ultimate goal is to create a model that leads to relevant questions and hypotheses about people and their behaviour and that is understandable for both lay people and experts. While laypersons get a better view of all the factors that contribute to people and their behaviour, specialists who know far more about specific issues than the model can accommodate may find help in contextualizing their area of expertise in the broader research landscape.

  • In the #PsychMapping community, the #PsychMapping model will serve us to further develop our applied tools like the basic #PsychMapping exercise, #MetaMapping or #HealthBehaviourMapping.

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