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The effect of practice schedules upon motor performance and learning in groups of different initial ability Bisakowski, Katherine

Abstract

An investigation was made to determine the effect of practice schedules on the performance and learning of high, medium, and low ability subjects (Ss) on the pursuit rotor. Fifty-eight men were rank ordered according to their initial scores and then systematically assigned to one of three practice conditions in order to make the groups equal in regards to initial scores. Sixty women were also rank ordered and systematically assigned to one of the three practice groups. The Ss in each of the three practice groups were subdivided into three ability groups. There were thirty-eight Ss in the distributed practice group and forty Ss in each of the two massed practice groups. On Day 1 of practice those Ss who received a distributed practice schedule (DP) had sixteen 20-second trials with 20 seconds of rest between each trial; those Ss who received one type of massed practice (MPl) had four 80-second trials with 20 seconds rest; and, those Ss who received a second type of massed practice (MP2) had eight 40-second trials with 20 second rest. No significant difference in the mean performance time on target scores or number of hits was found among the three practice groups and there was no significant differential effect of practice schedule attributable to initial ability level on Day 1. After a twenty-four hour rest, all Ss received a distributed practice schedule of fifteen 20-second practice periods and 20 seconds interpolated rest between each practice trial. Reminiscence was not found to be related to practice, ability, or sex. Again no significant difference in the mean performance time on target score or number of hits was found among practice groups and there was no significant interaction between practice schedule and ability level. There was, however, a significant linear trend interaction between the medium ability and low ability groups under DP and the medium and low ability groups under the average of MP1 and MP2. Men and women differed initially in time on target scores and number of hits and they differed again at the end of practice in number of hits. A significant interaction between ability and sex was found for reminiscence and for the final score for number of hits.

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