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Easy Task and Choice: Motivational Interventions Facilitate Motor Skill Learning in Children

Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi and Takehiro Iwatsuki

. The purpose of the study was to examine whether we replicated (a) enhanced expectancies and autonomy support intervention enhanced motor skill learning in children, and (b) increased a better understanding of the underlying psychological mechanism (i.e., self-efficacy and perceived choice). Sixty

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Predicting Motor Skill Learning in Older Adults Using Visuospatial Performance

Peiyuan Wang, Frank J. Infurna, and Sydney Y. Schaefer

perception, are most predictive of motor skill learning. Acknowledgments This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health ( K01AG047926 ). References Andrews , A. , Thomas , M. , & Bohannon , R. ( 1996 ). Normative values for isometric muscle force measurements obtained with hand

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Children’s Motor Skill Learning is Influenced by Their Conceptions of Ability

Ricardo Drews, Suzete Chiviacowsky, and Gabriele Wulf

The present study investigated the effects of different ability conceptions on motor skills learning in 6-, 10-, and 14-year-old children. In each age group, different groups were given either inherent-ability or acquirable-skill instructions before they began practicing a throwing task. Participants were blindfolded and were asked to throw beanbags at a target placed on the floor at a distance of 3 m. All participants performed 40 practice trials and received feedback about the accuracy of their throws after each trial. One day after practice, retention and transfer (greater target distance) tests without instructions or feedback were conducted to assess learning effects. Older participants generally had higher accuracy scores than younger participants. Importantly, instructions emphasizing the learnability of the skill resulted in greater throwing accuracy on the retention test than did those implying an underlying inherent ability. On the transfer test, the same effect was seen for the 14-year-olds, but not for the younger age groups, suggesting that adolescents may be more vulnerable to the threat of their inherent ability being exposed. The present findings demonstrate the importance of ability conceptions for motor learning in children and adolescents. They also add to the mounting evidence of motivational influences on motor skill learning.

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Exploring the Neurophysiological Effects of Self-Controlled Practice in Motor Skill Learning

Amber M. Leiker, Anupriya Pathania, Matthew W. Miller, and Keith R. Lohse

activity during practice ( Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016 ) remains to be explicitly tested. To that end, the goal of the current study was to rigorously investigate the relationship between control over difficulty during practice, motivation, and motor skill learning. This experiment was designed to replicate

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“You Kick Like A Girl!” The Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Motor Skill Learning in Young Adolescents

Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi, Laura Gray, Sahar Beik, and Maxime Deshayes

learning on a task with an accuracy demand. Findings from the present study could have a significant implication on adolescents’ motor skill learning. Teachers and coaches can lead adolescents to make more efforts and improve learning by emphasizing the positive characteristics of the group. Future

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The Time is Now! Altering Trajectories of Motor Skill Learning Across the Lifespan

Gabriele Wulf

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The Effects of Mental Practice on Motor Skill Learning and Performance: A Meta-analysis

Deborah L. Feltz and Daniel M. Landers

A longstanding research question in the sport psychology literature has been whether a given amount of mental practice prior to performing a motor skill will enhance one's subsequent performance. The research literature, however, has not provided any clear-cut answers to this question and this has prompted the present, more comprehensive review of existing research using the meta-analytic strategy proposed by Glass (1977). From the 60 studies yielding 146 effect sizes the overall average effect size was .48, which suggests, as did Richardson (1967a), that mentally practicing a motor skill influences performance somewhat better than no practice at all. Effect sizes were also compared on a number of variables thought to moderate the effects of mental practice. Results from these comparisons indicated that studies employing cognitive tasks had larger average effect sizes than motor or strength tasks and that published studies had larger average effect sizes than unpublished studies. These findings are discussed in relation to several existing explanations for mental practice and four theoretical propositions are advanced.

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Locus of Control as a Mediator of Social Facilitation Effects during Motor Skill Learning

Evelyn G. Hall and Linda K. Bunker

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Attentional Focus in Motor Skill Learning: Do Females Benefit from an External Focus?

Gabriele Wulf, Sebastian Wächter, and Stefan Wortmann

Recently, researchers in the motor learning area have shown that instructions to direct the learner’s attention to their body movements (i.e., induce an internal focus) – such as those typically used in applied settings – are less effective than instructions directing attention to the movement effects (i.e., inducing an external focus). Under the assumption that females tend to be more concerned about performing a movement correctly than males, who might be more inclined to focus on the outcome of their actions, the purpose of the present study was to examine whether females would benefit more from external-focus instructions than males. Female and male high-school students practiced a soccer instep kick with instructions that either induced an internal or external focus of attention. Subsequent retention (stationary ball) and transfer (moving ball) tests without instructions were performed to assess learning. The female group that was given internal-focus instructions during practice showed a greater performance decrement from retention to transfer than all other groups. This provides support for the view that the type of attentional focus induced by instructions might be particularly relevant for females, and that females might show greater learning advantages when provided with external-focus instructions.

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Mastery Motivational Climates: Motivating Children to Move and Learn in Physical Education Contexts

Mary E. Rudisill

For 30 years I have been interested in achievement motivation and factors that influence children’s motivation to move and learn to move. This work has been grounded in achievement goal theory, which explains what motivates individuals by how success is perceived and competence is valued (Nicholls, 1989). According to this theory, behavioral outcomes are related to goal-oriented behaviors described as task (e.g., competence and success are self-referenced) or ego (e.g., competence and success are based on the reference of others). A task-oriented goal perspective has been associated with increased enjoyment and intrinsic motivation inmovement-related activities such as sport and physical activity. Achievement goal theory also proposes that environments can be structured to emphasize factors that determine one’s goal involvement and subsequent cognitions, affect, and behaviors. In this review, I discuss mastery motivational climates and the research we have conducted related to this topic over the years.