Exploration strategies, performance, and error consequences when learning a complex computer task

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  • Dimitri Van Der Linden
  • Sabine Sonnentag
  • Michael Frese
  • Cathy Van Dyck

When trying to learn a complex task, people can use different strategies. They can use systematic exploration in which they take on an active approach to discover the computer functions and make use of problem solving steps such as planning, evaluation of feedback, and control of emotion and motivation. Alternatively, they can use non-systematic strategies like trial-and-error, rigid exploration, and encapsulation in information seeking. This study examined whether the exploration strategies were related to error consequences and performance when people learned a new computer program. Strategies were assessed by means of coding. Analysis showed strong correlations between strategies, error consequences, and task performance. These results can have implications for training design and human reliability in dealing with complex devices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes