An Assessment of Training Methods for Complex Mechanical Assembly Skills

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Training via behavioral modeling has been widely implemented in industrial-organizational contexts. At present, however, empirical evidence regarding the characteristics of an effective model, the cost effectiveness of behavioral modeling training and the efficacy of behavioral modeling versus other training methods is lacking (Tannenbaum & Yukl, 1992). student subjects in a mechanical device assembly task. Videotape Self-Modeling (VSM) (Dowick, 1983) Videotape Other-Modeling (VOM), Self-Directed Mental Rehearsal (SDMR) and No Training Control Group (NTCG) training methods were compared. VSM and VOM videotape training methods depicted correct, dexterous and rapid assembly task pcrformance by self- or other models respectively. SDMR training involved the production of assembly task imagery via mental visualization from memory. Statistical analysis of assembly times indicated that the SDMR group was superior to the control group and both video modeling groups. Additionally, there was no significant difference in assembly times between the videotape and control groups. Furthermore, the advantage in assembly times by the SDMR group was maintained over a four month follow-up. It is hypothesized that the use of mental rehearsal allowed subjects to capitalize upon skills gained during successive assembIy attempts. Owing to the cumbersome nature of their production, VSM and VOM training models could not be updated to depict changes in skills throughout assembly training, negating the potential advantages of their depiction of superior assembly performance.



Publication Title

Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting