Sometimes You Need a Reminder: The Effects of Prompting Self-Regulation on Regulatory Processes, Learning, and Attrition

Traci Sitzmann and Katherine Ely
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 95, Issue 1, pp. 132-144

Prompting self-regulation involves asking trainees reflective questions to stimulate self-regulatory engagement. Research has found positive effects for prompting self-regulation on learning, but a scarcity of evidence exists regarding whether self-regulatory processes mediate the effect of prompting self-regulation, whether the intervention reduces attrition, and the optimal timing of implementing the intervention. Using a longitudinal design, we found that prompting self-regulation throughout training increased learning and reduced attrition, relative to the control condition. Moreover, the effect on learning was fully mediated by time on task. The intervention also moderated the effect of learning on subsequent self-regulatory activity and attrition. Learning performance had less of a positive effect on subsequent self-regulatory activity and less of a negative effect on subsequent attrition when trainees were prompted to self-regulate. These results highlight the importance of adopting a longitudinal design to examine how self-regulatory interventions affect the cyclical relationships among self-regulatory processes, learning, and attrition.