Animating Recreation Experiences: Effects of Behavior-Specific Verbal Feedback on Experiences of First-Time Skiers


  • Elizabeth K. Marshall
  • Gary D. Ellis


An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of behavior-specific verbal feedback type on self-efficacy and intentions to continue participation among a group of individuals who participated in an introductory ski lesson at a major resort. Thirty-eight adult volunteers participated in the study. Twenty of these individuals received specially structured verbal feedback messages as they participated in a Profesional Ski Instructor Association (PSIA) introductory lesson. The remaining 18 students participated in a PSIA introductory lesson that did not include the special feedback. Measures of first-time skier self-efficacy, performance, technique, and intentions were taken following the lesson. Results indicated that the group that received the special verbal feedback messages had superior performance and technique and that those individuals had stronger intentions to take another lesson. The two variables that were most sensitive to the verbal feedback messages were technique (correctness of performance of the skill) and intention to take another lesson. Performance (accomplishment of an objective, regardless of quality of technique) and self-efficacy were much less sensitive to the messages. These results are consistent with previous theory and research that points to the importance of carefully crafted verbal feedback messages in teaching recreation and sport skills.





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