Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Dragana Claflin (Committee Member), Debra Steele-Johnson (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the type of training used (error avoidant or error encouragement) as a moderator of the relationship between personality variables and training outcomes. Specifically, we hypothesized that we would observe stronger effects of personality (i.e., conscientiousness and openness) on performance (Hypothesis 1) and affectivity (Hypothesis 2) for individuals in the error encouragement condition than for individuals in the error avoidant condition. Further, we hypothesized that we would see stronger moderating effects for training type for the above personality variables than for extraversion or agreeableness (Hypothesis 3). We recruited 257 participants from a Midwestern university and randomly assigned them to either error encouragement or error avoidant training conditions. Unexpectedly, the only significant moderating effect found involved extraversion such that individuals with higher levels of extraversion performed significantly worse than those with lower levels of extraversion in the error avoidant condition but not in the error encouragement condition. Our manipulation check indicated that we induced the intended psychological effects on the participant, yet we failed to detect a significant main effect for training type on either training performance or affect. Additionally, our results bring into question the assumption that performing errors lead to frustration, as we observed a significant overall reduction in frustration during the task. These results suggest that more research is needed to identify the mechanisms through which error encouragement training approaches lead to different training outcomes when compared to error avoidant training.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded