Yoked Versus Self-Controlled Practice Schedules and Performance on Dual-Task Transfer Tests

Elizabeth A. Sanli*, Timothy D. Lee
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada

© 2013 Sanli et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada; Fax: 905-523-6011; E-mail:


The authors examined yoked versus self-controlled practice schedules to determine their influence in immediate and delayed dual-task performance. The task was to propel a small disc along a smooth table top, with the purpose of stopping it in a specified target area. Participants in the self-controlled schedule group chose the order in which eight acquisition targets, differing in distance from a home position, were practiced during acquisition. Members of a control group followed identical schedules to yoked participants in the self-controlled group. The authors hypothesized that those in the self-controlled group would perform with less error on retention and transfer tests and with more error on dual-task transfer tests in comparison to those in the yoked group. No differences in performance on retention, transfer, or dual-task tests were found. Possible reasons for the similar performance between groups include the provision of choice over blocks of rather than individual trials and feelings of autonomy in both groups due to choice as to how to propel the disc.

Keywords: Choice, Cognitive Effort, Explicit, Implicit, Progression, Secondary Task.