Unlearning LO14808

Eugene Taurman (ilx@execpc.com)
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 08:22:28

Replying to LO14762 --

Brock Vodden,

This is a great example where learning new involves unlearning. My
experience would support that this applies to the mouth also. The
questions a executive asks and the reactions he or she has come form a set
of beliefs. Those cause the mouth to run with out thought. The questions
and comments it makes have the same habit pattern built into them as the
hand reaching for the handle.

The change of culture is not so much a learning process as an unlearning
process. It is necessary to look inside at ones mindsets that control our
reactions to every day situations and reprogram them. It is difficult
because those mind sets have made us successful.

It is like breaking a habit and starting a new one . Intellectual
understanding is often easy but changing actions is hard just like the
operator in your example.

At 10:38 PM 8/26/97 -0400, you wrote:

>Regarding unlearning, James Carrington wrote on Tuesday August 26, 1997,
>in part:
>>I cannot see the value of intentionally forgetting
>>something I have learned, if not for remembering what not to do.
>One of the common situations in which unlearning is a necessary process is
>one involving changing from an entrenched psycho-motor operation to a
>slightly different action which is designed to improve performance.
>I came across an example some years ago in which the industrial
>engineering staff of a manufacturing plant had made changes in the set up
>of machines in order to reduce the amount of movement the operators needed
>to make. The IE people discovered that after the changes were made, the
>operators who had been the best performers became the poorest performers.
>They had concluded that these individuals were deliberately sabotaging
>their improvement measures. When asked to assess the situation, I
>suggested that the cause was that these high performers were having
>difficulty to unlearn their old routines. In observing these people, we
>noted that they frequently made false moves to the the lever or switch
>which was no longer there.
>In this case, there was no value in retaining the old learned routines.
>The easiest solution for them was them to move to competely different
>machines, which would require no unlearning - just learning of the new
>operation. Unfortunately this was not possible because of the rigid job
>classification system which was ties to the machines on which people
>A further example comes from research I read many years ago, although I
>cannot recall the source. This research determined that an accomplished
>typist on the QWERTY keyboard is unlikely to ever achieve the same typing
>speed on a new keyboard layout.
>I do not know of any examples of unlearning problems in higher level
>intellectual skills.
>"Brock Vodden" <brock.vodden@odyssey.on.ca>

Eugene Taurman
interLinx ilx@execpc.com http://www.execpc.com/~ilx

"There is no such thing as an immaculate perception.
What you see depends upon what you thought before you looked."


Eugene Taurman <ilx@execpc.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>