What are psychomotor skills?

Answer

Psychomotor skills are the skills a person acquires through movement, manipulation and coordination of actions. The learner progresses through the cognitive, associative and autonomic stages. During the cognitive stage, the learners movements are slow and unsteady, and during the associative stage, movements require less cognitive effort but still require practice. In the autonomic stage, the learner refines the skill with practice but does not exert as much cognitive effort.

Skills such as typing, driving, riding a bike or walking are examples of psychomotor skills. These skills are not inborn, but with practice and repetition, the skills become second-nature. As psychomotor skills progress, they require less cognitive engagement. During the cognitive phase, a new skill first requires comprehension and application of the skill and moves toward analysis and evaluation of the skill. During the affective phase, the learner progresses through levels of mastery and increases efficiency and fluidity of movement. During the autonomic or true psychomotor phase, the processes between the muscles and the brain are fluid and dexterous. As skills reach mastery, additional skills that build upon and rely upon the autonomic skills are possible. Complex skills that require numerous psychomotor skills, such as flying an airplane or operating a complex piece of machinery, require hands-on training that progresses through the required skills.

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