Article Review: Effects of Trainer Expressiveness, Seductive Details, and Trainee Goal Orientation on Training Outcomes Author: Annette Towler

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This article focuses on a study that was conducted over the subject of trainer expressiveness and trainee mastery. There were one hundred thirty-two participants that took place in the study and listened to lectures that differed in seductive details and trainer expressiveness. When Annette Towler is taking about “seductive details”, she is referring to the information in the training that is ‘highly interesting and entertaining information that is only loosely related to the topic’. The author describes that in order to assist in the training process, trainers need to consider the best practices that will help the trainees’ learning during the instruction and to transfer this knowledge and these skills to the workplace. The trainers can shape the learning system of the organization by designing and delivering training programs that enable the trainees to transfer their skills back to the workplace. Annette Towler explains that a great way to accomplish active participation during delivery is through increasing the trainees’ mindfulness. By doing this, she describes that it helps the trainee to pay attention and make a mental effort to assess the information and integrate it with knowledge that they have previously learned. When trainees are engaged in the learning process, they become active participants rather than lifeless, uninterested recipients. It is also described that active participation can increase the transfer of training. Training methods, such as the content of instructional material and the communication style of the trainer, can influence what the trainees remember and how they transfer it to the workplace. Annette says, “In human resource development, trainer expressiveness is part of a subset of trainer behaviors named ‘immediacy,’ whereby trainers motivate trainees through their nonverbal and verbal behavior.” If the information itself is interesting, then the trainers probably don’t need to spice up their material. However, the article describes that there will be occasions when the material is dry, such as discussion of statistical analyses, and the trainer will be tempted to add a little zest to the material. The article then goes on to describe that for effective problem solving to occur, training design needs to include learning aids that help the trainees to learn, organize, and recall the training content. Annette Towler says that research on the influence of seductive details suggests it is harmful to recall information, although none of the research in this article was focused on the influence of seductive details on problem solving. But, it says that learning theory suggests that training design features that are beneficial for recall might be beneficial for problem solving as well. The trainees’ level of mastery orientation can be a good predictor of training outcomes and can also influence the extent of problem solving. In this study, Annette Towler adopted an aptitude-treatment interaction approach by examining the interaction effects of trainee mastery orientation and situational factors on recall and problem solving. The article tells of how there have been many studies on how seductive details influence recall, however, there have only been two studies that have considered the seductive details occurrence within the setting of a spoken presentation. To obtain the seductive details effect, they added interesting yet irrelevant details to the narration, or irrelevant video clips. After they conducted the study, they found that participants in the seductive details condition recalled less information. However, previous research has tended to focus on recall and recognition and had not focused on problem solving, so the article describes that it is unclear how their findings will generalize to other settings where trainees are required to apply their knowledge. In this article, the author focuses on both recall and problem solving to examine the boundary effects of the seductive details...
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