Publications & Resources

New Directions in Rifle Marksmanship Research

Apr 2006

Gregory K. W. K. Chung, Girlie C. Delacruz, Linda F. de Vries, William L. Bewley, and Eva L. Baker

We propose that future rifle marksmanship research be framed within a phases-of-skill-development model (Ackerman, 1987, 1992; Anderson, 1982; Fitts & Posner, 1967). Prior research on predicting shooting performance suggests a deceptively complex task sensitive to variations in the individual, equipment, and environment. We argue that rifle marksmanship research should be framed around perceptual-motor, cognitive, affective, equipment, and environmental variables. Although it is unlikely that equipment and environment can be controlled, much can be learned—with training implications—about how perceptual-motor, cognitive, and affective variables relate to shooting performance. The phases-of-skill-development model is silent on affective variables but suggests that cognitive factors will be most sensitive to individuals learning how to shoot, and perceptual-motor variables most sensitive to individuals who already know how to shoot. Identification of where trainees are in their skill development could lead to more efficient and targeted training and decreased training costs.

Chung, G. K. W. K., Delacruz, G. C., de Vries, L. F., Bewley, W. L., & Baker, E. L. (2006). New directions in rifle marksmanship research. Military Psychology, 18, 161-179.