+44 (0)1509 263171
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||The role of cognitive style in the acquisition of process control skills|
|Authors: ||Rasheed, Bebi W.H.|
|Issue Date: ||1996|
|Publisher: ||© Bebi Walifa Hadiya Rasheed|
|Abstract: ||This thesis examines an aspect of individual differences in learning. It
specifically addresses cognitive style and how this affects the acquisition of
process control skills.
A first experiment was conducted in order to examine individual differences
in the execution of process control tasks. This experiment explored the
manner in which subjects acquired skills under two training conditions; oral
and written instructions in a simple simulated processing plant. One group of
subjects was told the "surface principles" (Concepts Group) which governed
the functioning of the plant, whilst a second group was given written
instructions (Pprocedures Group).
There were twenty subjects in each of the groups. In the first group it was
found that there was greater retention and transfer when subjects were allowed
to construct their own responses. However, in the second group individuals
differed in the extent to which they willingly abandoned written procedures
and were proficient in handling the uncertainty of response construction.
A major finding was that 80% of the people in the "Procedures Group" chose
to ignore the procedures and instead developed their own procedures/strategies
based on their inferred knowledge concerning plant operation. A further
observation was that the "Concepts Group" , who were encouraged to construct
their own responses, made fewer errors than the "Procedures Group". Thus
it was impossible to infer that different preferences for responding were a
function of their thinking styles and not based solely upon methods of
It was hypothesised that differences in information processing were due to two
types of cognitive . styles, namely Field Independence (Fi) and Field
Dependence (Fd). A group of subjects was categorised into those who were
Fi and those who were Fd. These categories were constructed using results
obtained from the Embedded Figures Test (Witkin et a11954). To test such
differences, a second experiment was carried out to observe the manner in
which Fi subjects differed from Fd subjects. This experiment required
subjects to solve similar processing problems as in Experiment 1. The group
of subjects was divided into two equal groups in terms of Fi/Fd. One of these
groups received knowledge pertaining to the tasks presented so that they
understood how the plant functioned. The second group was deprived of such
The results showed that, in the first group, giving Fd subjects information did
not seem to aid them in solving those tasks presented to them. This was
contrary to expectations, since it was expected that Fd subjects would more
effectively use the information given as an aid to problems solving than Fis.
On the other hand, Fis used information as they wished, ignoring it or not as
desired and so developed their own ways of responding. The consequence of
this was that Fis were better problem solvers.
The expectation was that information would enhance performance. However,
both groups performed equally well, demonstrating again the more effective
completion of tasks by those who were Fi.
The conclusion of this thesis is that -there is empirical evidence to suggest that
the results discussed have valid implications for the selection and training in the field of process control. That is, people could be selected on the basis of
where they lie on the Fi/Fd dimension and then trained in an appropriate
manner for jobs in the process control field.|
|Description: ||A Masters Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||MPhil Theses (Design School)|
Files associated with this item:
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.