Part and whole practice for a tracking task: effects of task variables and amount of practice.

Perceptual and Motor Skills (Impact Factor: 0.66). 03/1980; 50(1):203-10. DOI: 10.2466/pms.1980.50.1.203
Source: PubMed


Whole and part methods were compared to test Naylor's hypothesis that, in a task of high organization, whole methods should become more efficient with increased complexity. Task complexity was varied by having two levels of display-control relationship. The part versus whole comparisons were made in two conditions, one requiring early changeover, the other later changeover to whole task practice. In the early changeover condition no significant differences were found between part and whole methods at either level of complexity. With later changeover, on the other hand, pure part training was inferior to whole training in the high complexity task. This result was present only in the first block of whole practice. No differences were found with the low complexity task. The experiment offers limited support for Naylor's hypothesis. The predicted superiority of the whole method in the high complexity task was only short lived and disappeared with further practice. Furthermore, this prediction was upheld only with later changeover to whole task performance.

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    • "It has been distinctly shown that under the dual-task conditions special time-sharing skills are developed – those which cannot be acquired under single-task conditions when the same component tasks are performed one by one (e.g., Damos & Smist, 1980, 1981; Gopher & North, 1977; Kalsbeek & Sykes, 1967; Spelke, Hirst, & Neisser, 1976). Practice on dual-tasks seems to be more efficient than the practice on component-tasks (e.g., Adams & Hufford, 1962; Briggs & Naylor, 1962; Detweiler & Lundy, 1995; Folds, Gerth, & Engleman, 1987; Stammers, 1980), and training solely on component tasks shows a small or almost no impact to the success of performing concurrent tasks (e.g. Rieck, Ogden, & Anderson, 1980; Schneider & Detweiler, 1988) even after the extensive practice (e.g., Scheider & Fisk 1984). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous attempts to identify a general time-sharing ability have been investigated at the low level of practice and have proven unsuccessful. Therefore, in the present study we examined whether the hypothetical time-sharing ability would emerge at a higher level of dual-task practice. To test this possibility, 111 participants performed various tracking and choice-reaction tasks during 10 consecutive days of practice both singly and concurrently. Under single-task conditions participants carried out seven simple tasks two times a day, while under dual-task conditions they carried out 14 different combinations of two simple tasks, three times each. This yielded 20 performance measures for each simple task and 30 performance measures for every dual-task combination. The data were analyzed with a series of factor analyses, separately for every level of practice: the low level (the first 3 days), intermediate level (the following 4 days), and high level one (during the last 3 days). The results showed that practice has no significant impact on the factor structure of single- and dual-task measures. Almost identical factor solutions have been obtained for all three levels of practice, and the general time-sharing factor representing hypothetical ability has not been identified at any level of practice. Instead, at all levels, three group time-sharing factors have been obtained. These findings support the idea of a multifactor model of time-sharing performance suggesting that performance on various multiple tasks would depend on several relatively independent time-sharing abilities.
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    • "This approach was also successfully used by Frederiksen and White (1989) and Fabiani et al. (1989). However, other studies have failed to show that part-task training based on fractionation is more effective than whole-task training (Adams, 1960; Stammers, 1980). Wightman and Lintern concluded that fractionation is more effective than whole-task training , only when a systematic procedure is used to decompose the task. "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers conducted 2 experiments that used backward transfer to improve the efficiency of part-task training for a desktop flight simulator. In Experiment 1, a part-task group showed positive transfer but did not perform as well as a whole-task group. Backward-transfer analysis indicated that only a subset of the component tasks was critical to the criterion task. In Experiment 2, a part-task training regime that used the critical component tasks was compared with a whole-task regime and a part-task regime composed of noncritical component tasks. Results indicated that the critical part-task regime was as effective as the whole-task regime, validating the utility of the backward-transfer technique.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied 10/1996; 2(3):227-49. DOI:10.1037//1076-898X.2.3.227 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Part-task training was defined as practice on some set of components of the whole task as a prelude to performance of the whole task. Part-task procedures are intended to improve learning efficiency and to reduce costs. Our review focused on the instruction of tracking skills for manual control. Transfer of training was emphasized and crucial features of the methodology and of means of assessing transfer were discussed. The part-task procedures of segmentation, fractionation, and simplification were explained, and procedures for reintegrating parts into the whole task were summarized.
    Human Factors The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 06/1985; 27(3):267-283. DOI:10.1177/001872088502700304 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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