Can Metric Feedback Training Hinder Actions Involving Distance?

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The present studies tested whether distance estimation training with metric feedback can degrade the performance of untrained primarily perceptual-motor tasks. BACKGROUND Training with metric feedback can improve distance estimations. However, previous research led to the conclusion that those improvements stemmed from changes in cognitive processing rather than in perception. If trainees applied their new cognitive strategies to primarily perceptual-motor tasks, then the performance of those tasks should degrade. The present studies tested that possibility. METHOD Experiment 1 sought to replicate that training with metric feedback would improve metric distance estimations. Experiments 2 and 3 investigated whether such training would degrade the performance of a primarily perceptual-motor task. Experiment 4 investigated whether such training would affect a perceptual-motor task that required cognition. RESULTS Metric feedback improved metric distance estimation (Experiments 1-4) and throwing to a specified distance (Experiment 4). Metric feedback degraded throwing to a target (Experiments 2 and 3), although that effect was not evident when pretesting was omitted (Experiment 3). CONCLUSION If distance estimation trainees apply what they learned from metric feedback to untrained primarily perceptual-motor tasks, then the performance of those tasks will suffer. However, if trainees apply what they learned to untrained tasks that require metric estimation, then the performance of those tasks will improve. APPLICATION Distance estimation training with metric feedback may not generalize to other tasks and may even degrade performance on certain tasks. Future research must specify the conditions under which distance estimation training with metric feedback leads to performance improvements and decrements.

DOI: 10.1177/0018720809340341

Cite this paper

@article{Jones2009CanMF, title={Can Metric Feedback Training Hinder Actions Involving Distance?}, author={Keith S. Jones and Patricia R. Delucia and Allyson R. Hall and Brian R. Johnson}, journal={Human factors}, year={2009}, volume={51 3}, pages={419-32} }