Search - List of Books by Thomas Gilbert
Thomas F. Gilbert (1926 — 1994) was a psychologist who is often known as the founder of the field of human performance technology, also known as Human Performance Technology (HPT). Gilbert himself coined and used the term Performance Engineering. Gilbert applied his understanding of behavioral psychology to improve human performance at work and at school. He is best known for his book Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performance. Gilbert devised HPT when he realized that formal learning programs often only brought about a change in knowledge, not a change in behavior. Other techniques were needed to bring about a lasting change in behavior.
Total Books: 20
Dr. Gilbert trained under the behavioral psychologist B.F.Skinner at Harvard University.
Gilbert applied this model to the world of work and school by observing that Performance is a function of an interaction between a person's Behavior and his/her Environment (P = B x E) and then defining the elements of the ABC model within each of these two domains. He called the resulting model the Performance Engineering Model, and used it to identify opportunities to systematically develop the managerially controllable systems and other factors in the work and school environments which support employee/student performance. These improvements sometimes resulted in dramatic increases in performance.
Dr. Gilbert developed the Behavior and Environment registers of the model outlined above with the basic framework of the Skinnerian operant behavioral model. This framework = Discriminative Stimulus --> Response --> Reinforcing or Aversive Stimulus (= SD --> R --> S+/-).
This paradigm can be summarized as the ABC theory: Antecedents lead to Behaviors which, in turn, lead to Consequences. The nature of these consequenses effect the probability of future expressions of this behavior. In other words, behaviors are prompted by stimuli which then result in responses which are, in turn, followed by reinforcing or aversive consequences. The reward or punishment value of these consequences, that is, increases or decreases the probability of future repetition of this behavior.
Conjointly using these two models (P = B x E to create a top and bottom register; and the ABC model to create three columns across each of the two B and E rows) Gilbert identified six variables which he believed were necessary to improve human performance: information, resources, incentives, knowledge, capacity, and motives. Gilbert believed that it was absence of performance support at work, not an individual's lack of knowledge or skill, that was the greatest barrier to exemplary performance. Therefore, he believed it was most necessary to focus on variables in the work environment before addressing an individual's variables.
Dr. Gilbert's work has created much of the organizing framework upon which the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) is based. The ISPI award the Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award, previously called the Outstanding Member and Distinguished Professional Achievement, that was renamed in 1996 in honor of Gilbert.