Can Pretraining Experiences Explain Individual Differences in Learning? Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the effects of having experienced negative events related to the purpose of a training program on learning and retention. Participants were 32 private pilots who participated in an assertiveness-training study. The purpose of the training was to prevent aviation accidents caused by human error. Structured telephone interviews were conducted to determine whether participants had previously experienced 3 types of negative events related to the purpose of training. Results indicated a linear relationship between these negative events and assertive performance in a behavioral exercise 1 week after training. The same negative events, however, were not significantly related to the performance of untrained participants in the same behavioral exercise. It is suggested that previous experiences influenced posttraining performance by increasing motivation to learn.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Applied Psychology

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith-Jentsch, K. A., Jentsch, F. G., Payne, S. C., & Salas, E.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Smith-Jentsch, Kimberly A||Jentsch, Florian G||Payne, Stephanie C||Salas, Eduardo

publication date

  • January 1996