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Transfer of training

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It refers to knowledge or abilities acquired in one area that helps problem solving or knowledge acquisition in other areas.

Holding (1991) says that "transfer of training occurs whenever the effects of prior learning influence the performance of a later activity" (in Training for Performance Morrison, J. (Ed p. 93 )). The degree to which trainees successfully apply in their jobs the skills gained in training situations, is considered "positive transfer of training" (Baldwin & Ford, 1980).

It is important to understand that transfer of training holds somewhat different means in different disciplines of psychology. Holding's definition reflects a cognitive psychology perspective. A cognitive psychologist might be interested in how the semantic similarity of word pairs in one list affects time to learn on a second list (the transfer task). From this perspective, the original learning task and the "later activity" look very much alike.

Baldwin and Ford's definition reflects an Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology perspective. An I/O psychologist might be interested in how trainees' motivation to transfer is related to later job performance. The training domain (e.g., a web-based training program) might be very different than the later "activity" domain (e.g., job performance).

Transfer of training is based on the theory of Transfer of learning

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