Four In-Depth Studies of a Flight Training Skill: Trial-and-Error Versus Prompted Learning Evaluated on Efficiency, Transfer, and Stress.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLO
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The following experiments provide an in-depth study of prompting versus trial-and-error T and E learning of a perceptual skill similar to that experienced by fighter pilots, which was a simulation of strafing-range estimation. The studies were concerned with which training method will require the least number of trials to learn a given task, which will most facilitate transfer of the learned task to new stimulus situations, which will yield the best performance under stress both on the training task and on the transfer task, and can resistance to stress be learned during training. The learning curves of both groups reflect little differences between training methods in learning the skill to asymptote. T and E was the superior training method on transfer p.05 and under stress p.01. Performance curves indicated that resistance to stress can be learned in the training environment p.05. The results were interpreted as evidence that the trainee should be allowed to make some errors during training and develop his own intrinsic cues through trial-and-error learning. The indiscriminate use of prompting methods is open to question. Author
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