Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Louisa Raisbeck


Paul Ward


Attentional focus and practice schedules are important components in learning a new skill. For attention this includes focusing inward or outward, for practice this includes interference between tasks. Little is known about how the two interact. Four groups; blocked/extraneous (BE); blocked/skill-focused (BS); random/extraneous (RE); and random/skill-focused (RS), practiced 100 trials of golf putting and 64 trials of a key-pressing task in addition to responding to a random tone distracting attention towards or away from skill movement. Participants performed immediate and delayed retention tests. Results demonstrated the BE group had decreased RTE scores compared to the BS group. Immediate retention demonstrated superior scores for blocked practice. Delayed retention demonstrated superior CEVE scores for extraneous focus. For golf putting, both attention conditions with blocked practice learned faster compared to random groups. Posttest scores demonstrated the random and skill focused group to improve in all putting conditions.