Dickerson, E. A., & Creedon, C. F. (1981). Self-selection of standards by children: The relative effectiveness of pupil-selected and teacher-selected standards of performance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 14, 425-433.

Groups of students were exposed to conditions where they determined their own collective goals and where the goals were imposed by the teacher (externally-selected goals). The pupil-selected standards group showed a significantly greater number of correct responses in writing and math tests than the externally selected (teacher) standards group. The literature review reported that self-selected standards are at least as effective as externally determined standards imposed by a teacher (coach).

Implication. Athletes should have input into the standards that are expected for performance. When they are solely established by the coach performance should not be expected to improve.

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