Influencing Learning States to Enhance Trainee Motivation and Improve Training Transfer

Daniel A. Weissbein, Jason L. Huang, Kevin K. Ford, Aaron M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examines a pretraining intervention to enhance transfer of training. The learning-state analog of locus of control was the target for intervention designed to impact motivation to learn which in turn would affect knowledge acquisition and the amount of posttraining practice. Design/Methodology/Approach: Data were collected from 91 participants who received interpersonal negotiation training and completed a negotiation transfer task approximately 2 days after training. Findings: Results supported our research model in that the pretraining intervention impacted individuals' internal, controllable attributions (i. e., belief that success is due to effort and strategy). These controllable attributions affected trainee's motivation to learn. Findings also showed that motivation to learn impacted the application of learning to a negotiation transfer task through its influence on the amount of posttraining practice and rehearsal activities engaged in by the trainee prior to the transfer task. The pretraining intervention also had an effect on transfer above and beyond that accounted for by motivation to learn and posttraining practice. Implications: This study demonstrates the benefits of using attributional intervention in the pretraining period to enhance transfer of training. This study also establishes the linkage from attributional states through motivation to learn to transfer of training. Originality/Value: The new pretraining intervention adds to the selection of methods the training designer can employ prior to the training to facilitate transfer. This study also highlights the role of posttraining rehearsal in enhancing transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-435
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Learning states
  • Locus of control
  • Motivation to learn
  • Pretraining intervention
  • Transfer of training


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