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The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of each substrategy of Singer's Five-Step Approach (5-SA) for learning a cup-stacking task. The 5-SA is a learning strategy previously shown to enhance the learning of self-paced motor tasks and consists of five substrategies: (1) readying, (2) imaging, (3) focusing, (4) executing, and (5) evaluating. At the theoretical level, it is important to understand which substrategies are responsible for producing changes in performance and learning. At the applied level, performers and instructors are interested in identifying the most effective and efficient learning strategies. It was hypothesized that the addition of each substrategy of the 5-SA would cause a significant increase in performance during a retention test. Male (n = 43) and female (n = 77) undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 18 and 44 participated. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six gender stratified groups. Group 1, a control group, received no training in the use of the 5-SA strategy. Groups 2-6 were trained, respectively, to use from the 5-SA (a) the readying substrategy, (b) the readying and imaging substrategies, (c) the readying, imaging, and focusing substrategies, (d) the readying, imaging, focusing, and executing substrategies, and (e) all substrategies. Participants performed a 6 stack cup stacking task for 50 trials in an acquisition phase and for 20 trials in a retention phase. While manipulation checks provided some evidence that participants used the strategies they were taught, no significant differences between groups on performance time in retention were found. These findings are discrepant with those of previous studies of the 5-SA that have used almost identical study designs. Possible explanations for this discrepancy, including the differential use of other mental strategies across groups, are discussed.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
David Eccles, Professor Directing Thesis; Robert Eklund, Committee Member; Gershon Tenenbaum, Committee Member; Paul Ward, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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