We investigated whether conscious control propensity moderates the role of attentional focus in motor skill acquisition of children. The propensity for conscious control of elementary school children was determined using an adapted version of the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS) (Masters, Eves, & Maxwell, 2005). They then practiced a darts task using an internal (focus on limb movements), external (focus on the target) or non-specific focus of attention and performed a transfer test (i.e. 20% increase in distance). After one week, they engaged in a delayed retention test. Results were analyzed using ANOVA with repeated measures. During the initial practice phase, no significant effects were found. However, during the transfer test and delayed retention interactions between conscious control propensity and group emerged, such that children with a high conscious control propensity performed better in the internal focus group and ones with a low propensity did better in the external focus group. These findings suggest children's motor skill acquisition is most effective when instructions align with their personality predispositions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationTse, A. C. Y., & van Ginneken, W. F. (2017). Children's conscious control propensity moderates the role of attentional focus in motor skill acquisition. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 35-39.
- Conscious control propensity
- Attentional focus
- Motor learning