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Transfer of Training

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    Transfer of Training

    One major learning process is called the transfer of training-A learning process in which learning is moved from one task to another based on resemblance between the two tasks . Basically, this means that learning in Task A will carry over to learning Task B if there are similarities between the two. There are two types of transfers:

    • Positive transfer learning - A transfer of learning that results from similarities between two tasks.
    • Negative transfer learning - An interference with learning due to differences between two otherwise similar tasks.

    In positive transfer learning, a person’s learning can be used in one situation and then built upon in the other.


    The flight simulator for NASA is an example of positive transfer learning. The astronauts learn to fly the spaceship and they learn how to live in small spaces. When they launch into outer space, their learning is transferred into a real situation.

    Another example would be learning the language of Italian and then learning Spanish. Many of the words are similar, so you can transfer your knowledge from one language to the other.

    On the other hand, negative transfer learning is interference in learning due to differences between two otherwise similar tasks.


    Learning to drive on an automatic transmission car then changing to a car that requires a manual shift in transmission (“stick shift”) is an example of negative transfer learning. Chances are when you switch over to "stick shift" you will stall and jerk around several times. Learning to drive is a negative transfer when you go from automatic to "stick shift," as the skills you need to drive are changed.