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Percept Mot Skills. 2007 Jun;104(3 Pt 1):1005-16.

Self-controlled use of a perceived physical assistance device during a balancing task.

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Gardner-Webb University, Department of Physical Education, Wellness, and Sport Studies, Campus Box 7257, Boiling Springs, NC 28017, USA.


The nature of the relationship between self-controlled conditions and the participant's perception of when and how to use a physical assistance device while practicing a balancing task was examined. Participants in the Self-control group (n= 9) were allowed to decide when to use a balance pole while performing the task, while the Yoked group (n= 9) had no choice regarding pole usage. The Self-control group had immediate performance benefits that persisted on a delayed retention task. Questionnaire results indicated that the Self-control group predominately used the balance pole when attempting a new performance strategy, while the Yoked group reported they would have preferred use of the pole when attempting a new strategy. Results lend support to the assertion that self-controlled conditions facilitate learning because participants can make decisions regarding assistance based on self-generated performance strategy-as relating to their perception of successful movement execution--to a greater extent than under externally controlled conditions.

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