Toward a Better Understanding of the Acquisition of Skill: Theoretical and Practical Contributions of the Task Approach
Interim rept. Jan-Feb 1986
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES MOTOR CONTROL LAB
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During the 1970s and 1980s, the field of motor learning generally abandoned the so-called task-oriented tradition, in which the effect of various experimental conditions on task performance or learning were evaluated. It by a process-oriented viewpoint, in which the dominant focus was the understanding of various underlying processes or mechanisms in performance and learning. Such a shift has resulted in many changes, such as a focus on relatively simple tasks where the underlying processes could be more easily identified, manipulated, and understood and, it emphasized the concern for very fundamental research questions. It is argued here that this shift has not been particularly healthy for motor learning, because the tasks that were used have questionable external validity, and the theories that were developed and evaluated were not maximally suited to the understanding of the phenomena of practice and learning. Two research programs noted deal with the effects of conditions of practice and feedbackknowledge of results, both of which offer a return to the task orientation. Keywords Motor skills Motivation.
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