The effect of information load and time on observational learning

MSL research field: 
Skill acquisition
TitleThe effect of information load and time on observational learning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBreslin, G, Hodges, NJ, Williams, AM
Start Page480
KeywordsAction observation

We examined whether observational learning of a bowling action could be facilitated by altering the amount of information available and the moment during practice when the information was presented. On Day 1, four groups practised a cricket bowling action. Three groups viewed either a full-body (FB) point-light model, the model’s bowling arm (INTRA) or between limb coordination of the model’s left and right wrists (INTER) only. Following retention tests on Day 2, all participants practised after viewing a FB display. Retention was again examined on Day 3. Bowling accuracy improved in all practice groups. Kinematics of the bowling arm became more like the model for the FB and INTRA groups only. All groups improved on measures of inter-limb coordination. Visual search data indicated that participants mainly focused their gaze on the model’s bowling arm. These data lead to the suggestion that viewing ‘end-effector’ information (i.e., information pertaining to the bowling arm) is an important perceptual constraint early in observational learning. Implicit manipulations designed to increase attention to other sources of information did not facilitate the learning process.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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