The effects of consistency and inconsistency between attentional focus and task objective in learning a golf putting task
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Converging evidence has demonstrated learning advantages when an individual is instructed to focus their attention externally. However, many of the motor tasks utilized in past research had clear external objectives (i.e., putting accuracy), creating a compatible relationship between an external focus of attention (i.e., outcome) and an external task objective (i.e., putting accuracy). The present study examined whether or not the consistency of instructions and task objective would differentially impact the acquisition of a golf putting task. Participants performed a putting task in a control condition or in one of four experimental conditions resulting from the factorial interaction of task instructions (internal or external) and task objective (internal or external). The retention and transfer data revealed that participants who received an external task objective demonstrated superior outcome scores. Participants who received technique information paired with outcome information demonstrated superior technique scores.