Self-regulation in error management training: emotion control and metacognition as mediators of performance effects

J Appl Psychol. 2005 Jul;90(4):677-91. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.4.677.


In error management training, participants are explicitly encouraged to make errors and learn from them. Error management training has frequently been shown to lead to better performance than conventional trainings that adopt an error avoidant approach. The present study investigated self-regulatory processes mediating this effect. Fifty-five volunteer students learned a computer program under 1 of 3 conditions: error avoidant training, error management training, or error management training supplemented with a metacognitive module. As predicted, both forms of error management training led to better transfer performance than did error avoidant training (d = 0.75). Mediation hypotheses were fully supported: Emotion control and metacognitive activity (from verbal protocols) mediated performance differences. These findings highlight the potential of promoting self-regulatory processing during training.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Social Control, Informal*
  • Teaching / methods*