The choice group totally outperformed the no-choice group

Friday, November 26th, 2021

A team of researchers recruited twenty-four 10-year old girls to learn five classical ballet positions:

Each participant was shown pictures of each position and given a verbal explanation of what to do. Then, it was time to give it a try. And after their first practice attempt, half of the participants (the choice group) were told that if they wanted, they could ask to see a video demonstration of the positions before any subsequent practice attempt.

The other participants (the no-choice group) were told that they would be shown videos from time to time, but not given any choice as to when. Each of these participants were “yoked” to another participant in the choice group, such that whenever their counterpart requested a video, they would be shown a video too.

Everyone did 50 practice repetitions (5 sets of 10), and then they were done for the day.

Autonomy support enhances performance expectancies, positive affect, and motor learning

The choice group totally outperformed the no-choice group.


  1. Contaminated NEET says:

    We needed a “team of researchers” to figure this out? Pathetic. Obviously, if the student can ask to see the video when she thinks she needs a reminder, she’s going to get more out of it than if she watches the video at random and arbitrary times.

    I have an idea for another study. Let’s get a group of 24 education grad students and divide them into two groups: the “wasp group” and the “no wasp group.” Yellowjackets sting the members of the wasp group, while no insects sting the no wasp group. We then ask the members of the study if they are experiencing any pain. I predict that the wasp group will answer “yes” at a statistically significant higher rate than the no-wasp group. I think a mere $1.5 million grant should be enough to get to the bottom of this perplexing question.

  2. bomag says:

    The yoking protocol is interesting; seems it could set up some sympathy/adversity dynamics.

    The choice group shows a mostly linear increase; non-choice group shows an interesting decrease in retention before going back to a previous increasing rate.

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