ERIC Number: ED205732
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Instructional Influence on Human Performance: Insensitivity to Contingencies. Interim Report September 1, 1979 through August 31, 1980.
Shimoff, Eliot H.; Matthews, Byron A.
Five experiments were conducted to determine whether properties inherent in some training procedures may subtly influence the adaptability of skilled performance of complex tasks. The first two experiments assessed the insensitivity of low-rate performances. Examined in the third experiment was the issue of whether instructions that focus attention on the contingencies can engender responding under the control of the contingencies. The fourth experiment involved developing a more efficient procedure for assessing the sensitivity of responding to natural contingencies, while the fifth experiment addressed the effects of verbal guesses about the contingencies on motor behavior under the control of the contingencies. Results indicated that instructionally induced insensitivity is a basic behavioral phenomenon, rather than a by-product of behavior that does not make contact with contingencies. If instructed insensitive behavior makes contact with contingencies, it appears likely that sensitivity to those contingencies will eventually develop. If training procedures explicitly call attention to natural consequences, instructionally induced insensitivity may be avoided. Thus, partial training where trainees are allowed to develop personal styles based on contingency contact would be beneficial. The fifth experiment reinforced the distinction between verbalization and motor performance and pointed to the need for further research on their potential interaction. (MN)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Behavior Modification, Behavior Patterns, Cognitive Style, Conditioning, Contingency Management, Feedback, Generalization, Instruction, Learning, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Motor Reactions, Performance Factors, Psychomotor Skills, Reinforcement, Responses, Skill Development, Task Analysis, Teaching Methods, Transfer of Training, Verbal Operant Conditioning, Verbal Stimuli
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Army Research Inst. for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, VA.
Authoring Institution: Maryland Univ., Baltimore. Dept. of Psychology.