The purpose of this study was to examine whether enhancing success expectation by providing relatively easy criteria for success would, in turn, enhance motor learning outcomes. Thirty university student participants threw soft-golf balls towards a circular target, using their non-dominant arm; they performed seven blocks of 12 trials from a distance of 5.5 meters on Day 1, and one block of 12 trials on separate retention and transfer tests on Day 2. After the first block on Day 1, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups in which they practiced the remaining six blocks of 12 trials: (a) one with relatively easy success (RES) criteria or (b) one with difficult success (DS) criteria. After the practice, we administered a perceived competence scale, a sub-scale of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI). On Day 2, participants in the RES group outperformed those in the DS group on both the retention and transfer tests, showing enhanced motor learning. The RES group also self-reported higher perceived competence than the DS group, indicating that the mechanism for benefiting from easier success criteria may have been an alteration in participants’ perceived competence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems