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B l o o m ' s Ta xo n o m y : T h e P s y c h o m o t o r


The psychomotor domain (Simpson, 1972) includes physical movement,

coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these
skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision,
distance, procedures, or techniques in execution. Thus, psychomotor
skills rage from manual tasks, such as digging a ditch or washing a car,
to more complex tasks, such as operating a complex piece of
machinery or dancing.

The seven major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the

most complex:

Category Example and Key Words (verbs)

Examples: Detects non-verbal

communication cues. Estimate where a
ball will land after it is thrown and then
Perception (awareness): The ability
moving to the correct location to catch
to use sensory cues to guide motor
the ball. Adjusts heat of stove to correct
activity. This ranges from sensory
temperature by smell and taste of food.
stimulation, through cue selection, to
Adjusts the height of the forks on a
forklift by comparing where the forks
are in relation to the pallet.
Key Words: chooses, describes,
detects, differentiates, distinguishes,
identifies, isolates, relates, selects.

Examples: Knows and acts upon a

sequence of steps in a manufacturing
process. Recognize one's abilities and
limitations. Shows desire to learn a new
Set: Readiness to act. It includes
process (motivation). NOTE: This
mental, physical, and emotional sets.
subdivision of Psychomotor is closely
These three sets are dispositions
related with the “Responding to
that predetermine a person's
phenomena” subdivision of the Affective
response to different situations
(sometimes called mindsets).
Key Words: begins, displays, explains,
moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states,

Examples: Performs a mathematical

equation as demonstrated. Follows
Guided Response: The early stages
instructions to build a model. Responds
in learning a complex skill that
hand-signals of instructor while learning
includes imitation and trial and error.
to operate a forklift.
Adequacy of performance is achieved
by practicing.
Key Words: copies, traces, follows,
react, reproduce, responds

Examples: Use a personal

Mechanism (basic proficiency): computer. Repair a leaking faucet.
This is the intermediate stage in Drive a car.
learning a complex skill. Learned
responses have become habitual and Key Words: assembles, calibrates,
the movements can be performed constructs, dismantles, displays,
with some confidence and fastens, fixes, grinds, heats,
proficiency. manipulates, measures, mends, mixes,
organizes, sketches.

Complex Overt Response (Expert): Examples: Maneuvers a car into a

The skillful performance of motor tight parallel parking spot. Operates a
acts that involve complex movement computer quickly and accurately.
patterns. Proficiency is indicated by a Displays competence while playing the
quick, accurate, and highly piano.
coordinated performance, requiring a
minimum of energy. This category Key Words: assembles, builds,
includes performing without calibrates, constructs, dismantles,
hesitation, and automatic displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats,
performance. For example, players manipulates, measures, mends, mixes,
are often utter sounds of satisfaction organizes, sketches.
or expletives as soon as they hit a
tennis ball or throw a football, NOTE: The Key Words are the same as
because they can tell by the feel of Mechanism, but will have adverbs or
the act what the result will produce. adjectives that indicate that the
performance is quicker, better, more
accurate, etc.

Examples: Responds effectively to

unexpected experiences. Modifies
instruction to meet the needs of the
learners. Perform a task with a machine
Adaptation: Skills are well
that it was not originally intended to do
developed and the individual can
(machine is not damaged and there is
modify movement patterns to fit
no danger in performing the new task).
special requirements.
Key Words: adapts, alters, changes,
rearranges, reorganizes, revises,

Examples: Constructs a new theory.

Develops a new and comprehensive
Origination: Creating new movement training programming. Creates a new
patterns to fit a particular situation or gymnastic routine.
specific problem. Learning outcomes
emphasize creativity based upon Key Words: arranges, builds,
highly developed skills. combines, composes, constructs,
creates, designs, initiate, makes,

Other Psychomotor Domain Taxonomies

As mentioned earlier, the committee did not produce a compilation for
the psychomotor domain model, but others have. The one discussed
above is by Simpson (1972). There are two other popular versions by
Dave (1970) and Harrow (1972):

Dave (1975):

Category Example and Key Words (verbs)

Examples: Copying a work of art. Performing

Imitation — Observing and
a skill while observing a demonstrator.
patterning behavior after
someone else. Performance
Key Words: copy, follow, mimic, repeat,
may be of low quality.
replicate, reproduce, trace

Examples: Being able to perform a skill on

Manipulation — Being able to
one's own after taking lessons or reading
perform certain actions by
about it. Follows instructions to build a model.
memory or following
Key Words: act, build, execute, perform

Examples: Working and reworking

something, so it will be “just right.” Perform a
Precision — Refining,
skill or task without assistance. Demonstrate a
becoming more exact.
task to a beginner.
Performing a skill within a high
degree of precision
Key Words: calibrate, demonstrate, master,

Examples: Combining a series of skills to

produce a video that involves music, drama,
Articulation — Coordinating
color, sound, etc. Combining a series of skills
and adapting a series of
or activities to meet a novel requirement.
actions to achieve harmony
and internal consistency.
Key Words: adapt, constructs, combine,
creates, customize, modifies, formulate

Naturalization — Mastering a Examples: Maneuvers a car into a tight

high level performance until it parallel parking spot. Operates a computer
become second-nature or quickly and accurately. Displays competence
natural, without needing to while playing the piano. Michael Jordan
think much about it. playing basketball or Nancy Lopez hitting a
golf ball.

Key Words: create, design, develop, invent,

manage, naturally

Harrow (1972):

Category Example and Key Words (verbs)

Reflex Movements — Reactions Examples: instinctive response

that are not learned, such as a
involuntary reaction Key Words: react, respond

Examples: perform a simple task

Fundamental Movements — Basic
movements such as walking, or
Key Words: grasp an object, throw a ball,

Perceptual Abilities — Response Examples: track a moving object,

to stimuli such as visual, auditory, recognize a pattern
kinesthetic, or tactile
discrimination. Key Words: catch a ball, draw or write

Physical Abilities (fitness) —

Examples: gain strength, run a marathon
Stamina that must be developed for
further development such as
Key Words: agility, endurance, strength
strength and agility.

Examples: Using an advanced series of

integrated movements, perform a role in a
Skilled movements — Advanced stage play or play in a set of series in a
learned movements as one would sports game.
find in sports or acting.
Key Words: adapt, constructs, creates,
Examples: Express one's self by using
Nondiscursive communication — movements and gestures
Use effective body language, such
as gestures and facial expressions. Key Words: arrange, compose,