The impact of error training and individual differences on training outcomes: an attribute-treatment interaction perspective

J Appl Psychol. 2002 Feb;87(1):143-55. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.87.1.143.


The authors examined the effectiveness of error training for trainees with different levels of cognitive ability, openness to experience, or conscientiousness. Participants (N = 181) were randomly assigned to control, error-encouragement, or error-avoidance conditions and trained to perform a decision-making simulation. Declarative knowledge, task performance, and self-efficacy were measured posttraining. Findings suggest the effectiveness of error training is dependent on the cognitive ability or dispositional traits of trainees. High cognitive ability or more open individuals benefit more from error-encouragement training than low cognitive ability or less open individuals. Conscientiousness has a negative effect on self-efficacy when trainees are encouraged to make errors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition*
  • Decision Making
  • Education
  • Employee Performance Appraisal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personnel Loyalty
  • Random Allocation
  • Task Performance and Analysis*