Counterfactual thinking and anticipated emotions enhance performance in computer skills training

Chan, Amy Y.C., Caputi, Peter, Jayasuriya, Rohan and Browne, Jessica L. 2013, Counterfactual thinking and anticipated emotions enhance performance in computer skills training, Behaviour and information technology, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 387-396, doi: 10.1080/0144929X.2010.550319.

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Title Counterfactual thinking and anticipated emotions enhance performance in computer skills training
Author(s) Chan, Amy Y.C.
Caputi, Peter
Jayasuriya, Rohan
Browne, Jessica L.ORCID iD for Browne, Jessica L.
Journal name Behaviour and information technology
Volume number 32
Issue number 4
Start page 387
End page 396
Total pages 10
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Colchester, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0144-929X
Keyword(s) counterfactual thinking
anticipated emotions
information technology training
Summary The present study examined the relationship between novice learners’ counterfactual thinking (i.e. generating ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ thoughts) about their initial training experience with a computer application and subsequent improvement in task performance. The role of anticipated emotions towards goal attainment in task performance was also assessed. Undergraduate students (N ¼ 42) with minimal experience in using computer spreadsheets underwent basic training in using Microsoft Excel. All participants were assessed on their anticipated positive and negative emotions regarding goal attainment at the outset. After completing their first task, participants allocated to a counterfactual condition received instructions to generate counterfactual thoughts regarding their initial task performance, whereas participants in a control condition did not. The counterfactual group showed only marginally greater improvement in task performance (measured by task completion time and accuracy) than the control group.  However, we also found that positive anticipated emotions were associated with improvement in task performance but for the counterfactual group only. Our data have implications for incorporating counterfactual thinking into information technology skills training to enhance learning outcomes for novice learners.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/0144929X.2010.550319
Field of Research 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention
170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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Created: Tue, 10 Dec 2013, 16:58:45 EST by Jessica Browne

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