Theories of psychomotor learning | Applied Sciences homework help

Two prominent theoretical perspectives provide explanations for using demonstrations on learning a skill; one of these is the cognitive mediation theory and the other is the dynamic view, provide their chief explanatory characteristic and tell us which one in your opinion is better than the other. Provide arguments in your defense.


Cognitive mediation theory shares that when a person observes a model they translate it into a symbolic code that forms the basis of a stored representation into memory (Magill & Anderson, 2017). This stored information serves as a guide for performing the skill and as a standard for the error detection and correction. Badura is the pioneer of this theory and states that in order to obtain skill acquisition the modeling of another is accurately found by rule learning than response mimicry (Bandura, 1986). This is important across many aspect of how one can learn motor skill acquisition from observations.

The next view is the dynamic view of modeling that has been an alternate of Bandura theory. The dynamic view a theoretical view explaining the benefit of observing a skilled model demonstrate a skill; it proposes that the visual system is capable of automatically processing the observed movement in a way that constrains the motor control system to act accordingly, so that the person does not need to engage in cognitive mediation.

The question being asked is in my opinion which view is correct on learning a new skill. Until we have research evidence that one view cannot explain, we must consider which view is a possible explanation of why modeling benefits skill acquisition. I vote on the cognitive mediation theory. Albert Bandura had the breakthrough; demonstrating how observational learning takes place when seeing positive and negative behaviors and discredited the method of imitation. In addition, based on neuro programming theory, the more you see and hear movement the deeper it has become part of your nervous system and there is a likelihood that it has become a conditioned reflex (Druckman & Swet, 1988).

One more point to add is the benefit of imagery as I personally am a strong believer in this. Imagery is thought to activate parts of the motor system as well as other cortical regions and strengthen neural pathways involved in movement resulting in improved performance (Wakefield, Smith, Moran & Holmes, 2013). Imagery has improved service return to a greater extent than those classified as poor imagers (Wright et al., 2015). Using both imagery and observation demonstrates a stronger idea for the individual to complete a task. When I watch American Ninja Warrior I see so many contestants fail with obstacles. However when they see their peers complete a difficult obstacle it is within the next contestant observation and imagery that helps them complete the near impossible obstacle. Holmes and Camels (2008) imply that imagery and observation should be seen as complementary.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Druckman, D., Swets, J.A. (Eds.). (1988). Enhancing human performance: Issues, theories, and techniques. Washington., DC: National Academy Press.

Holmes, P., & Calmels, C. (2008). A neuroscientific review of imagery and observation use in sport. Journal of Motor Behavior, 40, 433–445. doi:10.3200/JMBR.40.5.433-445

Wakefield, C., Smith, D., Moran, A. P., & Holmes, P. (2013). Functional equivalence or behavioural matching? A critical reflection on 15 years of research using the PETTLEP model of motor imagery. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6, 105–121. doi:10.1080/1750984X.2012.724437

Wright, D. J., McCormick, S. A., Birks, S., Loporto, M., & Holmes, P. S. (2015). Action observation and imagery training improve the ease with which athletes can generate imagery. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 27(2), 156-170.

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