INTEGRATING ERRORS INTO THE TRAINING PROCESS: THE FUNCTION OF ERROR MANAGEMENT INSTRUCTIONS AND THE ROLE OF GOAL ORIENTATION

Authors


  • This study is based on the dissertation of the first author in partial fulfillment for the doctoral degree at the University of Amsterdam. Doerte Heimbeck has since moved to Florida, U.S., Michael Frese has moved to University of Giessen, Germany, and Sabine Sonnentag has moved to University of Braunschweig, Germany. We are indebted to Rick DeShon for a critical reading of a prior version of this article.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael Frese, University of Giessen, Germany Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10F, 35394 Giessen, Germany; Michael.Frese@Psychoi.Uni-Giessen.de

Abstract

Error management training explicitly allows participants to make errors. We examined the effects of error management instructions (“rules of thumb” designed to reduce the negative emotional effects of errors), goal orientation (learning goal, prove goal, and avoidance goal orientations) and attribute x treatment interactions on performance. A randomized experiment with 87 participants consisting of 3 training procedures for learning to work with a computer program was conducted: (a) error training with error management instructions, (b) error training without error management instructions; and (c) a group that was prevented from making errors. Results showed that short-and medium-term performance (near and far transfer) was superior for participants of the error training that included error management instructions, compared with the two other training conditions. Thus, error management instructions were crucial for the high performance effects of error training. Prove and avoidance goal orientation interacted with training conditions.

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