A STUDY OF WARMUP DECREMENT IN PURSUIT ROTOR PERFORMANCE.
IOWA STATE UNIV IOWA CITY
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In a study extending over five days and employing both massed and widely distributed practice on the pursuit rotor, warmup decrements consistently appeared after rest intervals of 24 hours. This result was predicted for massed practice but was contrary to expectations for the distributed practice condition and showed that warmup decrements in rotor performance after long rest intervals cannot be attributed to inhibitory factors. The marked superiority of the performance of the distributed practice group over that of the massed practice group revealed again what is already rather generally accepted as fact--that with other things equal, distributed practice sessions are advantageous in the acquisition of skill on motor tasks. Continuous practice on a task without intermittent pauses, even when the overall length of practice is only a few minutes, is almost certain to lead to reduced efficiency.