Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




This study compared the effects of three training programs on inspector accuracy. The inspection task required 38 subjects to detect errors in geometric figures. All three training programs provided the same written descriptions of correct and incorrect figures, and all three training programs provided examples of correct figures. What differed among the programs was the type of incorrect figures. Individuals assigned to the Correct Sample Only Group were not shown any incorrect figures. Individuals assigned to the Critical Differences Group were shown incorrect figures which contained only one error at a time. Individuals assigned to the Multiple Differences Group were shown incorrect figures which contained more than one error at a time.

Following training, all participants inspected the same sheets of figures, on three separate occasions. Individuals in the Critical Differences Group had very high rates of inspection accuracy across all three inspection sessions. Inspection accuracy for individuals in the other two groups improved across the three inspection sessions, but was still not as accurate as for individuals in the Critical Differences Group. This was particularly true for figures containing only one error, which were less obvious and harder to detect.

Earlier research demonstrated that selection of incorrect figures shown during training plays an important role in accuracy during testing, but the finding had not previously been applied in the context of inspector accuracy. The present research suggests a way in which inspector training programs can be improved, by specifying the types of errors which training figures contain.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons