Two experiments were conducted to examine the effect of self-monitoring (SM) strategies on motor performance of varied difficulty. In a pilot test, participants’ perceptions of task difficulty agreed with performance on the easy task. Participants perceived the hard task to be significantly more difficult than indicated by the performance scores and perceived the easy task to be significantly less difficult than their performance on the complex task (p < .05). In the subsequent experiment, subjects performed 90 trials on either the difficult or easy motor task using either positive self-monitoring (PSM), negative self-monitoring (NSM), or no self-monitoring. MANOVAs indicated that PSM resulted in superior performance in comparison to NSM across trials while performing the difficult task (p < .05). In the easy task, PSM was inferior to NSM on motor performance across trials (p < .01). Further results also indicated that negative affect significantly decreased for PSM performing the difficult task, and for NSM performing the easy task.
Michael B. Martin currently is in private practice at 219 President Ave., Miranda, New South Wales 2228, Australia. Mark H. Anshel is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.