Instructions Don’t Always Help Us To Do Better At A Task

You might hate following instructions on how to do something, but there’s no avoiding them. Training on everything from how to drive a car to read an X-ray starts with explicit instructions — whether verbal or written, as the authors of a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance point out. In fact, Luke Rosedahl at UC, Santa Barbara and colleagues write, “This practice is so widely accepted that scholarship primarily focuses on how to provide instructions, not whether these instructions help or not.” Now the team reports that for learning how to do well at certain tasks, they do not help at all. Continue reading →

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