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The Role of Prior Knowledge in Operating Equipment from Written Instructions.
Final rept. 1 Sep 81-28 Feb 85,
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR
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This report summarizes a set of results on the role of prior knowledge in how people operate electronic equipment from written instructions. These results cover two situations In the first, the prior knowledge is possessed by subjects prior to the experiment. These studies involved comprehension and memory of technical text, expertise in descriptions of familiar and unfamiliar pieces of equipment, and expertise effects in following instructions that differ in organization. In the second situation, the prior knowledge was provided as a part of the training involved in the experiments. These studies concerned the role of knowledge of how a system works, and transfer procedures. Simulation models were constructed and compared in detail to the data, yielding significant theoretical conclusions about the mechanisms involved in the effective use of prior knowledge. The work has considerable practical significance for equipment training and maintenance. Keywords include Instructions, and Comprehension.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE