Using "war stories" to train for adaptive performance: Is it better to learn from error or success?

Wendy Joung, Beryl Hesketh*, Andrew Neal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study examines whether error exposure training can enhance adaptive performance. Fifty-nine experienced fire-fighters undergoing training for incident command participated in the study. War stories were developed based on real events to illustrate successful and unsuccessful incident command decisions. Two training methodologies were compared and evaluated. One group was trained using case studies that depicted incidents containing errors of management with severe consequences in fire-fighting outcomes (error-story training) while a second group was exposed to the same set of case studies except that the case studies depicted the incidents being managed without errors and their consequences (errorless-story training). The results provide some support for the hypothesis that it is better to learn from other people's errors than from their successes. Implications for training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-302
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Psychology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

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