A multilevel modeling approach to examining individual differences in skill acquisition for a computer-based task
Computer User Training
This article explores the role of age, cognitive abilities, prior experience, and knowledge in skill acquisition for a computer-based simulated customer service task. Fifty-two participants aged 50-80 performed the task over 4 consecutive days following training. They also completed a battery that assessed prior computer experience and cognitive abilities. The data indicated that overall quality and efficiency of performance improved with practice. The predictors of initial level of performance and rate of change in performance varied according to the performance parameter assessed. Age and fluid intelligence predicted initial level and rate of improvement in overall quality, whereas crystallized intelligence and age predicted initial e-mail processing time, and crystallized intelligence predicted rate of change in e-mail processing time over days. We discuss the implications of these findings for the design of intervention strategies.