Research in our lab addresses primarily attentional and motivational influences on motor performance and learning (see Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016):
- Attention. In numerous studies, it has been shown that instructions and feedback that direct the performer’s attentional focus to the movement effect (external focus) facilitate performance and learning compared to those that direct attention to the movements themselves (internal focus). The adoption of an external focus promotes the utilization of relatively automatic control processes – making performance more effective and efficient.
- Motivation. Variables that enhance expectancies for future performance success (e.g., positive feedback, incremental conceptions of ability) have a beneficial effect on motor skill learning. Also, learner autonomy (e.g., self-controlled feedback, autonomy-supportive language, having choices) appears to be critically important for optimal performance learning.