The role of observation and emulation in the development of athletic self-regulation

Anastasia Kitsantas, Barry J. Zimmerman, Timothy Cleary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The influences of modeling and social feedback on acquisition of dart-throwing skill were studied with 60 high school girls. Girls who witnessed a coping female model gradually improving her dart-throwing technique were hypothesized to surpass girls who observed a mastery model perform the technique flawlessly on an array of measures that included dart skill and self-regulatory processes such as self-reactions, self-efficacy perceptions, and intrinsic interest. Girls who observed a mastery model were expected, in turn, to surpass girls who learned without the benefit of modeling on these same measures. Support for both hypotheses was found. Social feedback during enactive performance assisted learners in all modeling groups. The results are discussed in terms of a social - cognitive view of athletic skill acquisition in which vicarious abstraction of a skill prepares students to learn self-regulatively during practice efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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