Accession Number:

ADA196450

Title:

Ability/Motivation Interactions in Complex Skill Acquisition

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 May 1987-29 Feb 1988

Corporate Author:

MINNESOTA UNIV MINNEAPOLIS DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1988-04-28

Pagination or Media Count:

74.0

Abstract:

Two central constructs of applied psychology, those of motivation and cognitive ability, are integrated within an information processing perspective. We begin with a conceptual framework for simultaneous consideration of individual differences in cognitive abilities and volitionalself-regulatory processes of motivation. From this framework, we propose that motivational interventions specifically interact with abilities and task demands. Empirical demonstration of the framework is provided in the context of skill acquisition, where the information processing and ability demands change as a function of practice, training paradigm, and the timing of goal setting. Three skill acquisitiongoal setting experiments are reported, in a large scale field-based lab setting 1,010 U.S. Air Force trainees. Subjects engaged in complex, computerized, Air Traffic Controller tasks. In the first experiment, the basic learning and abilityperformance parameters of the task were evaluated in conjunction with a goal-setting intervention early in practice. Results offered support for the initial tenets of the framework, and point to a number of critical issues in the appropriate use of goal-setting in a complex learning environment. In Experiment 2, goal setting was further investigated at a later stage of skill acquisition, for demonstration of the interactions between task demands and motivational interventions. The third experiment simultaneously examined the effects of task training content, goal setting, and ability performance interactions during skill acquisition. Keywords Air Force training.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE