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Observational learning and practice variability


, : Observational learning and practice variability. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport 54(1): 1-4

Two factors said to influence motor learning are mode of information feedback and conditions of practice. The current investigation explored certain aspects of those factors for the specific purpose of gaining insight into processes underlying the observational learning of motor skills. Design was a practice (variable/constant) .times. information mode (modeling/physical) .times. trials factorial. Physical practice occurred in the absence of vision. Dependent variable was an angular positioning task. The acquisition phase consisted of 60 KR [knowledge of results] trials. The physical conditions received KR based on their own response outcomes, while the modeling groups heard model-contingent KR. Subsequent no-KR transfer to a new target located outside the range of previous practice supported the notion of the superiority of variable over constant practice during observational learning. Evidently, subjects who observed a model who had practiced under variable conditions were later able to perform in a manner quite similar to those subjects who previously practiced under a physical-constant practice manipulation. The latter finding was discussed in terms of the added potency which variable practice apparently adds to the observational learning of motor skills. Further studies are needed to understand how observational learning functions within the information processing system.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1080/02701367.1983.10605264


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