J Appl Psychol 2001 Oct;86(5):1022-33
Department of Psychology, Valparaiso University, USA.
The purpose of this study was to examine the viability of knowledge structures as an operationalization of learning in the context of a task that required a high degree of skill. Over the course of 3 days, 86 men participated in 9 training sessions and learned a complex video game. At the end of acquisition, participants' knowledge structures were assessed. After a 4-day nonpractice interval, trainees completed tests of skill retention and skill transfer. Findings indicated that the similarity of trainees' knowledge structures to an expert structure was correlated with skill acquisition and was predictive of skill retention and skill transfer. However, the magnitude of these effects was dependent on the method used to derive the expert referent structure. Moreover, knowledge structures mediated the relationship between general cognitive ability and skill-based performance.