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Physical practice is superior to mental practice in enhancing cognitive and motor task performance

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CONTRIBUTORS:
  Author Hird, J. S. (b. 1982, d. ----)
  Author Landers, D. M. (Arizona State University)
  Author Thomas, J. R. (Iowa State University)
  Author Horan, J. J.
JOURNAL:
  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (JSEP), 13(3), 281 - 293.
YEAR: 1991
PUB TYPE: Journal Article
SUBJECT(S): motor-skill; achievement; exercise; training; mental-training; comparative-study; cognition; efficiency
DISCIPLINE: No discipline assigned
HTTP: https://secure.sportquest.com/su.cfm?articleno=396292&title=396292
LANGUAGE: English
PUB ID: 103-340-318 (Last edited on 2003/10/13 16:38:31 GMT-6)
SPONSOR(S):
 
ABSTRACT:
This study compared varying ratios of physical to mental practice on cognitive (pegboard) and motor (pursuit rotor) task performance. Subjects (36 males and 36 females) were randomly assigned to one of six conditions experiencing different amounts of combined mental and physical practice. Seven practice sessions (four trials per session for the pegboard and eight trials per session for the pursuit rotor) were employed. ANOVA results showed that all treatment conditions, except the pegboard control group, showed significant differential pre- to posttest improvement. Furthermore, effect sizes and significant linear trends of posttest scores from both tasks showed that as the relative proportion of physical practice increased, performance was enhanced. In support of previous meta-analytic research, for all treatment groups, the effect sizes for the cognitive task were larger than for the motor task. These findings are consistent with the symbolic-learning theory explanation for mental-practice effects. In addition, the results indicate that replacing physical practice with any mental practice would be counterproductive.
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