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Training and transfer of a structural fault-finding strategy

Munley, G. and Patrick, John 1997. Training and transfer of a structural fault-finding strategy. Ergonomics 40 (1) , pp. 92-109. 10.1080/001401397188404

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A study is described that examines training of what is termed a 'structural' faultfinding strategy. Such a strategy involves reasoning about the structuralfeatures of a problem domain in order to interpret symptoms and narrow down the area in which the fault lies. Training was carried out using verbal descriptions and schematic representations of the flow through five chemical plants. Training for this structural fault-finding strategy involved three components: identification of plant characteristics (e.g. direction of flow, type of logic gate); production of the symptom propagation pattern of a given failure; and identification of all possible failed items given a specified pattern of symptom propagation. The effectiveness of the structural strategy was assessed in terms ofthe number of failed items identified correctly for novel symptom patterns at three levels of transfer comprising: familiar plants; novel plants with familiar structural features; and truly novel plants where the structural features are extended and combined in novel ways. Transfer of training was positive at all three transfer levels such that errors of both omission and commission were reduced in comparison to a control condition. Further training and assessment was provided concerning fault-finding. While no improvement in fault-finding accuracy was found as a result of training in the structural strategy, data concerning instrument readings requested prior to diagnosis, indicated that this training had a beneficial e ffect. It is suggested that a structural strategy is of benefit during the initial stage of fault-finding but needs to be trained and combined with other types of knowledge that support subsequent stages of the diagnostic process.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Training; Fault-finding Transfer
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0014-0139
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 03:07

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