Author(s): Lewthwaite R, Wulf G
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Abstract This study examined motivational effects of feedback on motor learning. Specifically, we investigated the influence of social-comparative feedback on the learning of a balance task (stabilometer). In addition to veridical feedback (error scores reflecting deviation from the target horizontal platform position) about their own performance after each trial, two groups received false normative information about the "average" score of others on that trial. Average performance scores indicated that the participant's performance was either above (better group) or below (worse group) the average, respectively. A control group received veridical feedback about trial performance without normative feedback. Learning as a function of social-comparative feedback was determined in a retention test without feedback, performed on a third day following two days of practice. Normative feedback affected the learning of the balance task: The better group demonstrated more effective balance performance than both the worse and control groups on the retention test. Furthermore, high-frequency/low-amplitude balance adjustments, indicative of more automatic control of movement, were greater in the better than in the worse group. The control group exhibited more limited learning and less automaticity than both the better and the worse groups. The findings indicate that positive normative feedback had a facilitatory effect on motor learning.
This article was published in Q J Exp Psychol (Hove)
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies