What Are Psychomotor Skills?

Esther Ejim

Psychomotor skills refer to those types of skills that are developed as a result of constant use of the skills in question. These skill sets are usually utilized for the performance of specified duties. For instance, they may be utilized to perform everyday tasks that the individual may have become so adapted to that it requires little thought or concentration to perform them. Psychomotor skills may also be learned as part of the process of specializing in the performance of a particular task.

Fine motor skills taught in schools is one area of psychomotor learning.
Fine motor skills taught in schools is one area of psychomotor learning.

An example of the application of psychomotor skills can be seen in the case of jugglers who have learned over time how to balance different items in the air at the same time. This type of skill set is usually cultivated or developed over time and requires a concerted initial effort in terms of concentration and learning how to coordinate the different reflexes in order to achieve the perfect balance needed to handle different objects at the same time. In a sense, this type of skill is similar to multitasking, which requires the ability of an individual to concentrate on different items at the same time without losing control of the mental and physical faculties involved in the performance of the different tasks. It may be said that a psychomotor skill is cultivated over a length of time through repeated performance, in which a person is so used to doing something that he or she does not need to think too deeply while performing the task.

Completing an art project may help a child build psychomotor skills.
Completing an art project may help a child build psychomotor skills.

When analyzing psychomotor skills, it is pertinent to note that these types of skills require input from both the physical perspective and the mental perspective. That is to say that psychomotor skills are composed of the ability to learn how to balance the physical and mental attributes in order to achieve a certain goal. Usually these goals are aimed toward the realization of an objective, such as putting on makeup in the morning, taking a shower, or even driving a car. The denominating factor in psychomotor skills is the fact that individuals have become so used to these tasks that they do not need to think about them too much while performing the actions that compose the skill sets. For example, an individual could be putting on clothes in the morning while thinking about what he or she wants to buy from the grocery store due to the fact that he or she has become so used to the process that it has become almost automatic.

Many toddler toys are designed based on the application of psychomotor skills.
Many toddler toys are designed based on the application of psychomotor skills.

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Discussion Comments


@clintflint - It's interesting how you can get to that point, where your fingers will do things automatically. I read somewhere that you have a tiny little bit of grey matter in the fingertips and that's why you can develop skills like that, but I don't know if that's actually true.

I guess dancers develop their own kind of psychomotor skills with their feet and body though, so I don't think the fingers are all that special.


@pastanaga - They must really have practiced a lot to have developed their psychomotor skills to that point. I can juggle, but I can't really think too hard about it, or try to introduce anything but a few balls, because I'm definitely at that level.

I have noticed recently that my typing skills are pretty good though. I can carry on a conversation and keep typing, although it takes a lot of concentration if they are on different topics.

It's pretty useful for lectures though as it's much quicker to type than to write out notes in longhand.


I'm really in awe of jugglers, even though I know it's something that I could probably learn to do if I put my mind to it.

I saw a juggler act a while ago where there were two people and they juggled all kinds of weird things, which was impressive enough, but then they took it to a whole new level.

They turned out the lights and used glowing balls to put on a show that looked almost impossible, but since you couldn't see where they were, you couldn't really tell how they were doing it.

It was really amazing, the kind of thing that I would be happy to see over and over.

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