Implicit and explicit control of motor actions: Revisiting some early evidence

Richard Mullen, Lew Hardy, T. Oldham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two studies have questioned Masters' (1992) contention that skills acquired in implicit practice conditions are less likely to fail under pressure than those acquired explicitly. The studies produced conflicting results. The aim of the present study was to revisit the designs of both studies in an attempt to clarify the situation. Thirty-two participants were allocated to one of three separate implicit training groups or an explicit training group, and practised putting golf balls. Participants were exposed to an anxiety intervention at two points during practice. Putting performance across practice and anxiety phases were analysed using the number of putts successfully completed as the main dependent variable. We found further evidence for the suggestion that motor skills are robust under pressure when acquired in implicit practice conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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