Production of Negative Transfer in a Problem Solving Task

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72 students solved two problems using a source problem designed to inhibit performance on the target problem relative to baseline performance when the target problem was solved alone. Both source and target problems shared surface similarity but were structurally dissimilar. Negative transfer was found for three different source and target combinations. The decreased performance below baseline for three of the source-target programs provides a reliable context to demonstrate negative transfer and facilitate continued investigation of this phenomenon.