Mind Map of the Psychomotor Domain

Psychomotor Domain

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I've had a few comments about the articles on Bloom's Taxonomy being a bit too academic. Words like taxonomy, cognitive, psychomotor, etc. don't roll easily off the tongue.

I've tried to make it as simple as possible and to paraphrase the great Einstein, 'I've tried to make it simple enough, but not too simple'.

The Psychomotor Domain explained

The Psychomotor Domain mainly covers the acquiring of a physical skill like manipulating a tool or instrument, but it can be applied to the learning of any skill, including art, music, sport and Mind Mapping.

Bloom did not develop categories in this Domain, as he did in the Associative and Cognitive Domains.

Other academics did however do that.

Current Theories

The theories below are academic studies of the Pshychomotor Domain. Each of them are divided into categories like Bloom did with the Associative Domain and the Cognitive Domain. The categories and the website link below are included in case you want to explore the subject further.

Simpson (1972)

  • Perception
  • Set
  • Guided Response
  • Mechanism
  • Complex Overt Response
  • Adaptation
  • Origination
Dave (1970)
  • Imitation
  • Manipulation
  • Precision
  • Articulation
  • Naturalization
Harrow (1972)
  • Reflex movements
  • Basic fundamental movement
  • Perceptual
  • Physical activities
  • Skilled movements
  • Non-discursive communication
These theories are nicely summarized on this website: Psychomotor Taxonomy Summary.

After reading many of the theories, I felt that there had to be simpler, practical approach to the subject. Once again, Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Maps, came to my rescue. After many hours researching this topic and reading through reams of theories, I've decided to use three main sources for this article. The first one is the Mind Map Book of Tony Buzan and the second one is Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.

The third one is my understanding based on personal research and use of the theory.

Understanding the Psychomotor Domain using the three A's

In the Mind Map book, Tony Buzan describes how ancient Eastern masters developed students. They received only three basic instructions: 'obey', 'cooperate' and 'diverge'.

The student started with complete submission to the will of the master and obeyed all instructions without questioning. The aim was to imitate the master as accurately as possible, only asking for clarification where necessary.

This was followed by cooperation whereby the student could consolidate and integrate the information by asking appropriate questions. The student would also assist the master in analysis and creation.

Finally, the student will diverge after learning everything the master could teach. The student will then honour the master by continuing the traditional of further development, often leading to new ways of doing things.

When it comes to Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan recommends that you follow the three A's:

  • Accept
  • Apply
  • Adapt
Accept Set aside any preconceptions you may have about your mental limitations. Follow the Mind Mapping laws exactly. Imitate the models given as precisely as you can. You can learn to Mind Map by example by looking at the Mind Maps of others. We provide lots of free examples on UsingMindMaps.com.

Apply After basic Mind Mapping training, Tony Buzan recommends that you do at least 100 Mind Maps based on what you have learned. We recommend that you follow the Mind Map Principles and the Seven Steps in creating a Mind Map. You may even want to put this together in a holistic Learning Management Program.

In the process of doing this, you will start developing your own Mind Mapping style. By experimenting with Mind Maps in your Personal life, at work, in business, or in your learning, you will start realising what works well for you and what doesn't.

Adapt After doing 100 pure Mind Maps, you can start experimenting with ways of adapting your Mind Maps. Feel free to experiment, but keep the basic principles in mind. If you break any of the principles, at least know the reasons why. In that way you can rest assured that you will be able to defend your position and use it with confidence.

We are very keen to hear about your Mind Mapping experiences. Let us know your experiences by commenting on our blog or submitting your story on our Website. We will publish your story and give you recognition for the story!

Practice makes perfect

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book 'Outliers', tells us of a case study involving violinists. Violinists were evaluated at various stages of their life. All of them were recognised as having above average talent at age five. Yet, by the time they reached twenty, it was very evident who was going on to play professionally and who was just going to do it as a hobby, or teach at a government school.

The difference, he noted, was the amount of hours they spent single mindedly trying to improve their playing. By the time they reached 20, the top performers had put in over 10,000 hours of practice, while the poorer performers only put in about 4,000 hours.

There was very little that differentiated the top from the bottom performers. The main differentiator was the amount of time they spent practising!

You can also become a good Mind Mapper if you start Mind Mapping today and do the recommended 100 Mind Maps. You can also grow your Mind Mapping Skills by looking at good examples, but nothing beats doing it yourself.

Remember that the principle applies to learning any skill. Set aside time on a daily basis to practice the skill that you want to learn. An hour a day for thirty days is better than 5 hours once a week when learning a skill.


While there are many complex academic theories on the Psychomotor Domain, I am suggesting a simple approach of Accept, Apply and Adapt to increase your skills in any field. First find a good mentor, accept what they are saying and then apply it for a sufficiently long period of time.

Only once you've done this, should you adapt the principles to suit your needs.

We provide you the Mind Map mentorship you need on UsingMindMaps.com. The site is still young and growing. So bookmark it, subscribe to our RSS feed, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to grow your Mind Mapping skills. We'll even throw in some free offers!

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