Dyad Training in a Perceptual-Motor Task: “Two Pairs of Eyes Are Better Than One”

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Stefan Panzer Sportscience, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

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Christina Pfeifer Sportscience, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany

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Peter Leinen Sportscience, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany

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Charles Shea Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

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The aim of this experiment was to determine if dyad practice helped individuals become aware, use, and retain information in a dynamically changing perceptual-motor task compared with practice alone. We used a computerized perceptual-motor task, where individuals were required to intercept balls that dropped from the top of the screen. A colored line at the top of the screen provided information about the direction of the dropping ball. Participants (N = 24) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: A dyad training group where two participants alternated between physical and observational practice after each block of 20 trials, and they also engaged in dialog about the task, and an individual training group where one participant practiced the task. Both groups improved their accuracy during acquisition. On the retention test, participants in the dyad group caught significantly more balls (73%) than individuals of the alone group (58%). Participants in the dyad group also showed a higher percentage of correctly identified stimuli in the recognition task. Dyad training induced performance advantages in a perceptual-motor task because individuals became aware and used information acquired during observation and/or from the dialog.

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