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Chapter 6

Psychology 2660A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Procedural Knowledge, Programmed Learning, Descriptive Knowledge

Course Code
Natalie J Allen

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Chapter 6: Organizational Learning
One implication of this changing nature of work is that greater relative importance is placed on skill
Training process through which the knowledge and skills of employees are enhanced
Informal/unintentional learning is the knowledge we acquire and use to better out lives simply by paying
attention to our environment and adapting
o Self-guided; learner-directed
Only 10% of learning within an organization is due to formal training; the rest is from informal learning
Chief learning officer; “learning” has now reached same level as finance and operations (chief finance
officer; chief operating officer)
The information age is characterized by a transition to a knowledge-based economy
Knowledge workers work with information and ideas or solve problems and carry out creative tasks
Learning and task performance
Learning process by which change in knowledge or skills is acquired through education or experience
o Encoding, retaining, and using information
o “Human information processors”
Skill acquisition can be divided into 3 phases:
o Declarative knowledge knowledge about facts and things involves memorizing and
reasoning processes
Observe demonstrations of the task and learn task-sequencing rules
Performance is slow and prone to error
o Knowledge compilation knowledge acquired as a result of learning integrate the sequences
of cognitive and motor processes required to perform the task
Performance becomes faster and more accurate
Attentional demands are reduced long-term memory
o Procedural knowledge knowledge about how to use information to address issues and solve
Automatized the skill
Perform task efficient w/ little attention
Becomes so second nature that they report difficulty in describing what they know that
others do not know
Three major classes of abilities are critical for performance in the 3 phases of skill acquisition
o General intellectual ability (g) most important in acquiring declarative knowledge
Initially, attentional demands are high as you develop a performance strategy,
demands decrease
o Perceptual speed abilities basic understanding of how to perform the task but seeks a more
efficient method for accomplishing the task with minimal attentional effort
Required to move along from declarative to procedural knowledge
Needed to process info faster
o Psychomotor abilities - determine the final level of task performance in the procedural
knowledge phase
Learning the requirements of jobs in the military occurred in stages with plateaus in learning followed by
subsequent periods of growth
Learning to perform tasks depends on a complex set of factors that affect gains in performance as well
as the duration of the performance
3 distinguishing features of people who are regarded as experts on a topic vs novices
1. Proceduralization refers to a set of conditional action rules: if condition A exists, then action B
is needed
Automaticity refers to a state of rapid performance that requires little cognitive effort
Experts not only “know” things, but also know when that knowledge is applicable and
when it should not be used
o Novice may be equally competent at recalling specific info, but experts are better
at relating that info in cause-and-effect sequences
2. Mental models the way knowledge is organized

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Mental models of experts are better because they contain more diagnostic cues for
detecting meaningful patterns in learning they have more complex knowledge
structures, resulting in faster solution times
3. Meta-cognition an individual’s knowledge of and control over his or her cognitions
Experts: greater understanding of the demands of a ask and their own capabilities; more
likely to discontinue a problem-solving strategy that would have proven unsuccessful
The pre-training environment
Employees start to learn how training is viewed in the organization early in the socialization process
and continue to gather information with each training activity they attend
Trainees who had more supportive supervisors entered training with stronger beliefs that training would
be useful
Trainees who entered training expecting some form of follow-up activity or assessment afterward
reported stronger intentions to transfer what they learned back on the job
Trainees who reported many limitations in their job (lack of time/equipment/resources) entered training
with lower motivation to learn they had little incentive to learn new skills in an environment where they
couldn’t apply them
Methods and techniques of training
E-learning the new approach to learning
The computer is powerful because it facilitates learning in way that other media (a book) cannot
In the past, training methods assumed there was a certain amount of knowledge an employee needed
to perform their job upon acquisition of that knowledge, they were deemed qualified
Now, it’s not simply a case of knowledge acquisition – more ways than one to perform a job
o What matters is whether the performance objectives are fulfilled, with less emphasis placed on
how they were fulfilled
o Computer-based training helps individuals discover “which was” works best for them
Computer-based training
o Computer-based training utilizes computer technology to enhance knowledge and skill
o Programmed instruction
The most basic CB training that provides for self-paced learning
Trainees who answer more questions correctly move quickly through the material
Because if they answer correctly, they move on to new info; if incorrect, they’re
taken back to review the relevant material
80% of leading companies use programmed instruction in some form
o Intelligent tutoring systems
A sophisticated type of CB training that uses artificial intelligence to customize learning
to the individual
Based on the trainee’s responses to questions posed, the system continuously modifies
the level of instruction presented to the trainee
Can vary the order and difficulty of the questions presented
o Interactive multimedia training
A type of CB training that combines visual and auditory info to create a realistic but
nonthreatening environment
More sophisticated
Combines text, photos, graphics, videos, animation, and sound to simulate a rl
Interactive because it allows the trainee to make decisions and then receive immediate
o Virtual reality training
A type of CB training that uses 3D imagery
Effective because trainee experiences a sense of “telepresence” in the environment
Headset, gloves, treadmill
Least commonly used due to its narrow range of purpose
Non-computer-based training
o Business games
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