LEARNING IMPROVES WHEN ATTENTION IS FOCUSED
Singer, R. N., Lidor, R., & Cauraugh, J. H. (1993). To be aware or not aware? What to think about while learning and performing a motor skill. The Sport Psychologist, 7, 19-30.
The effects of three learning strategies on skill acquisition were compared. The strategies were:
Ss (N = 72) received 250 trials to master a computer-managed ball-throwing task, and 50 more trials in a dual-task situation.
Each of the three strategy conditions demonstrated high ball-throwing accuracy than the control condition during skill acquisition. The Five-Step Approach and non-awareness conditions displayed less than average variance than the awareness condition. The directed-attention strategies, which are commonly displayed by experts, seem to be appropriate for beginners as well.
Implication. Instructing beginners how and when to focus their attention accelerates skill learning. The Five-Step Approach appears to be worth adopting as a teaching strategy.
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