Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 27, 2015

The Effects of a PETTLEP Imagery Intervention on the Learning of a Complex Motor Skill

Phillip G. Post, Cody D. Williams, Duncan Simpson and Joseph M. Berning

Abstract

Prior research has largely suggested that imagery is an effective mental skill for enhancing learners’ skill acquisition of cognitive tasks (Hird, Landers, Thomas, & Horan, 1991; Ryan & Simons, 1981). However, additional research is needed to determine if imagery can benefit learners’ skill acquisition of motor tasks. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a four-week PETTLEP imagery intervention on learners’ skill acquisition of a standing long jump. Seventy-six female college students (M age=20.6 yrs; SD=1.77) were assigned into one of four groups: physical practice (PP), imagery plus physical practice (IP+PP), imagery practice (IP), or a control group (CON). The study consisted of three phases: pre-test, intervention, and a post-test. During the intervention phase the PP group completed 80 physical jumps; IP+PP group completed 40 imaged and 40 physical jumps; the IP group completed 80 imaged jumps; and the CON group engaged in a distraction task. During each experimental phase participants filled out the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) to assess self-reported motivation. Results revealed that the PP and IP+PP groups outperformed the CON group on the post-test. From pre to post, the PP and IP+PP groups improved, the IP group maintained performance, and CON group decreased in performance. All of the training groups’ reported significantly higher effort/importance ratings on the IMI during the intervention and post-test phases compared to the CON group. Results extend prior research by demonstrating that imagery combined with physical practice can benefit the learning of a complex motor task and that imagery alone may assist learners in maintaining initial skill proficiency.

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Published Online: 2015-10-27
Published in Print: 2015-1-1

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