Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Sport Studies

Major Professor

Jeffrey T. Fairbrother

Committee Members

Leslee Anne Fisher, Eugene C. Fitzhugh

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if active and sedentary individuals differed in terms the effects of self-controlled feedback on the learning of a movement skill. The task consisted of a blindfolded beanbag toss using the non-preferred arm. Participants were prescreened according to their physical activity level using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Craig et al., 2003). An equal number of active (A) and sedentary (S) participants were assigned to self-control (SC) and yoked (Y) feedback conditions, creating four groups: Self-Control Active; Self-Control Sedentary; Yoked Active; and Yoked Sedentary. SC condition participants were provided feedback whenever they requested it, while Y condition participants received feedback according to the schedule created by a SC counterpart to whom they were yoked. The SC condition was more accurate than the Y condition during acquisition and transfer phases. The A condition was more accurate than the S condition during all phases of the experiment. Results of a post-experimental questionnaire indicated that participants in the SC condition asked for feedback mostly after what they perceived to be “good” trials. Participants in the Y condition indicated that they would have preferred to receive feedback after “good” trials. This study provided further support for the advantages of self-controlled feedback when learning motor skills, additionally showing benefits for both active and sedentary individuals. In addition, the results suggested that the provision of experimenter-controlled feedback (i.e., in the Y condition) to sedentary learners degraded immediate performance. While this effect was not present during assessment of learning, it may have implications regarding the motivation of sedentary individuals to engage in practice when learning movement skills.

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