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Using interactive computer-based training to increase skill levels through the rapid acquisition of experience as measured by decreased recognition and reaction times

, Texas A&M University, United States

Texas A&M University . Awarded


This research investigated foundational information as it is acquired, stored, searched, and retrieved by the human brain as it attempts to react to a stimulus with increased efficiency as an individual moves toward mastery. Specifically, students in a tennis academy with a fundamental grasp of the game and commensurate physical skills and abilities were studied to determine if specifically designed software could significantly improve their reaction times while hitting balls with an instructor. The dependent variable was reaction time as measured on videotape in pre and post intervention trials.

Both groups were videotaped hitting tennis balls to a specific area of the court. After a complete set of twenty trials for each participant was gathered, participants were split into control and experimental groups. The control interacted with a video game for half an hour and was then videotaped a second time and reaction times measured. The experimental group interacted with specifically designed software for a half hour and was videotaped for a second set of reaction times. The software was designed to organize and concentrate learning of an opponent's body language in such a way as to provide reduced experience learning time as measured in improved anticipation and reaction time.

The research took place in the months of February through May 2001 and was conducted in outdoor tennis courts during an after school tennis academy.

A three-factor factorial with repeats on the last two factors was performed. An analysis of variance was conducted for groups by time and time by groups.

The dependent variable was statistically significant at 0.01. Experimental participants improved in reaction time after thirty minutes of self-directed software intervention while the control group times slowed slightly but not significantly.

The road to mastery is composed of stages or levels of foundational data acquisition. When presented properly through self-directed software the time to mastery of these stages may be significantly reduced when compared to experiential learning.


Powell, R.B. Using interactive computer-based training to increase skill levels through the rapid acquisition of experience as measured by decreased recognition and reaction times. Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University. Retrieved February 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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