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Hum Factors. 1996 Sep;38(3):425-33.

Training older adults to use automatic teller machines.

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Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-3013, USA.


The present study assessed the success of several instructional programs in teaching the use of automatic teller machines (ATMs). Fifty-six older adults (aged 61 to 81) participated in the study, randomly assigned to each of four, 14-member groups. The description group received only a general overview of an ATM; the text guide group received written instructions for performing various transactions on an ATM; the pictorial guide group received written instructions accompanied by pictures of corresponding ATM screens; and the online tutorial group completed a step-by-step tutorial on a simulated ATM. Participants practiced on an ATM simulator. They were tested after a 24-h interval on their ability to perform familiar transactions on an unfamiliar ATM simulator and to perform completely novel transactions. Accuracy was best for the online tutorial group, intermediate for the text and pictorial guide groups, and worst for the description group. These data demonstrate both the importance of providing older adults with ATM training and the fact that the type of training influences the level of performance. The online tutorial, which provided specific practice on the task components, best facilitated acquisition and transfer performance.

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