What roles do errors serve in motor skill learning? An examination of two theoretical predictions

  • Sanli E
  • Lee T
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ABSTRACTEasy-to-difficult and difficult-to-easy progressions of task difficulty during skill acquisition were examined in 2 experiments that assessed retention, dual-task, and transfer tests of learning. Findings of the first experiment suggest that an easy-to difficult progression did not consistently induce implicit learning processes and was not consistently beneficial to performance under a secondary-task load. The findings of experiment two did not support the predictions made based on schema theory and only partially supported predictions based on reinvestment theory. The authors interpret these findings to suggest that the timing of error in relation to the difficulty of the task (functional task difficulty) plays a role in the transfer of learning to novel versions of a task.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Errors in acquisition
  • Reinvestment
  • Schema
  • Task difficulty

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  • Elizabeth A. Sanli

  • Timothy D. Lee

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