Accession Number : ADA139451

Title :   How Experts and Nonexperts Operate Electronic Equipment from Instructions.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,


Personal Author(s) : Kieras,D E ; Tibbits,M ; Bovair,S

PDF Url : ADA139451

Report Date : 10 Feb 1984

Pagination or Media Count : 32

Abstract : Three questions were addressed in an experiment in which subjects followed instructions to complete tasks involving several pieces of electronic equipment: (1) Two instruction formats were compared: a historical menu format containing natural chunks of instructions was not superior overall to a simple step-by-step instruction format. The menu format was superior only if the subject was familiar with the type of device, and was sometimes substantially inferior otherwise. (2) Experts were compared to nonexperts, and found to be faster overall, and able to operate equipment with fewer instructions in the menu condition. They were also faster when complex physical actions were involved. Thus, there were both specific and general effects of expertise. (3) Evidence was sought that knowledge of how to operate equipment was schematic. It was expected that when subjects in the menu format condition operated a device without selecting any instructions to read, their sequence of actions should correspond to stereotyped schema-like patterns. This occurred only weakly, suggesting that even experts operate everyday devices in a problem-solving mode, rather than by retrieved complete procedures.

Descriptors :   *Electronic equipment, *Instructions, Operation, Specialists, Skills, Learning, Instructional materials, Formats, Hierarchies

Subject Categories : Humanities and History

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE