(From the Association of Psychological Science) — In a new report published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, the authors conclude that “training and development activities allow organizations to adapt, compete, excel, innovate, produce, be safe, improve service and reach goals.”
“Learning is a way of life in organizations,” says Eduardo Salas, a psychological scientist from the University of Central Florida, and co-author of the report. “Everyone gets training. But what matters? What works? What influences learning and skill acquisition?”
In their survey of the vast scientific literature on the science of training, the researchers found that one of the most important things that “matters,” is that human resource executives, chief learning officers and business leaders should view training as a whole system and not a one-time event. This means that what happens before and after the actual training is just as important as the training itself.
The individual characteristics that trainees bring to a learning environment have been shown by psychological scientists to be important to consider. For example:
- Trainees who believe that their abilities actually influence training outcomes are more likely to persist in learning activities, even when they encounter challenges.
- Trainees who are oriented toward mastery or learning may perform better when they can control how they explore and organize training material.
- Trainees who are oriented toward performance seem to do better in highly structured environments that involve successively more complex tasks.