Accuracy and Speed Feedback: Global and Local Effects on Strategy Use

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dayna R. Touron, Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background/Study Context: Skill acquisition often involves a shift from an effortful algorithm-based strategy to more fluent memory-based performance. Older adults’ slower strategy transitions can be ascribed to both slowed learning and metacognitive factors. Experimenters often provide feedback on response accuracy; this emphasis may either inadvertently reinforce older adults’ conservatism or might highlight that retrieval is generally quite accurate. Response time (RT) feedback can lead to more rapid shift to retrieval (Hertzog, Touron, & Hines, 2007, Psychology and Aging, 22, 607–624).Methods: This study parametrically varied trial-by-trial feedback to examine whether strategy shifts in the noun-pair task in younger (M = 19) and older (M = 67) adults were influenced by type of performance feedback: none, trial accuracy, trial RT, or both accuracy and RT.Results: Older adults who received accuracy feedback retrieved more often, particularly on difficult rearranged trials, and participants who receive speed feedback performed the scanning strategy more quickly. Age differences were also obtained in local (trial-level) reactivity to task performance, but these were not affected by feedback.Conclusions: Accuracy and speed feedback had distinct global (general) influences on task strategies and performance. In particular, it appears that the standard practice of providing trial-by-trial accuracy feedback might facilitate older adults’ use of retrieval strategies in skill acquisition tasks.

Additional Information

Experimental Aging Research, 40(3), 332-356
Language: English
Date: 2014
Psychology, Older adults, Skill acquisition, Performance feedback

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