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The effect of knowledge of results on reaction time.

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Sam Dainty - Research Design Investigation Student no. - 0120-03-266 Thursday Group 3 - 5pm The Effect of Knowledge of Results on Reaction Time Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that feedback had on reaction time and to distinguish any trends of results. In what way does the addition of feedback have on the reaction time of a performer? The study tested how reaction time was affected by first of all, no feedback and secondly, knowledge of results (KR).The Simple reaction timer was used for the investigation. The time of error that occurred in the exercise was recorded and studied. Ten sports science students participated in the study. Each of the ten subjects partook in the trial ten times for each test at each condition. The first test was using a varied foreperiod with no feedback given to the subject and the second test had also varied foreperiod, but the margin of error was given to the subject after they performed the task. It was discovered that when no feedback was given the reaction time increased and when knowledge of results was introduced the mean reaction time decreased therefore concluding that knowledge of results gives an improvement in reaction time. ...read more.


Vision is the main source of proprioception during the study. The eyes provide the body with both exteroceptive and exproprioception information. This enables the performer to take in sensory information through sensory receptors and through viewing the external environment. Other classifications of anticipation have been identified such as spatial or event anticipation, which questions what will happen, for example, a batsman in cricket will be wondering what type of ball the bowler will bowl. Temporal anticipation deals with the question of "when will the event happen?" For example, when should the batsman swing his bat in order to make contact with the ball? The effects of anticipation have been analysed by Posner (1978). He demonstrated that when the subjects were given a valid cue there was a 30ms benefit whereas when the subjects were given an invalid cue there was a 40ms cost. The benefits of anticipation are seen as gains in performance because when response selection and response stages are eliminated there is more time top concentrate on the relevant stimulus or stimuli. Method Subjects Ten subjects took part in the study, five of which were male and five were female. All the subjects were sports science students therefore had a fairly high degree of coordination. ...read more.


Zelaznik, 1985). The first test reaction times remained at a virtually constant score whereas the second test produced a constant decrease in mean error until the seventh or eighth trial where a plateau is seen. This supports the theory that anticipation is eliminated when no KR is present. As discussed in the introduction, when there is a stimulus that can be predicted, there is more time to be spent on concentrating on that single stimulus, whereas, if the stimulus can't be predicted then more time must be spent on information processing and filtering information to work out the correct response. During the 1930's there was some debate as to whether the effect of practice was to increase or decrease reliable individual differences but it was concluded that different tasks have different effects on individual differences (Woodrow, 1939a), so the question wasn't taken into account during the investigation. The question of practice was further discarded due to the test only comprising of ten trials for each test. To take this investigation further, the idea of learning can be incorporated into the experiment by performing a retention test to discover whether or not the subjects that performed the task with KR have learned the response more effectively. ...read more.

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