The infrequent use of skills relevant in non-routine situations in highly automated and high-risk industries is a major safety issue. The infrequent use of skills can lead to skill decay. Research on skill decay has a long history, but not much is known about the relevant factors and refresher interventions to attenuate skill decay in highly automated environments. In the present study, a scoping review was conducted to determine whether the well-known factors in skill decay research are also relevant for complex cognitive skill decay and to identify refresher interventions that are deemed effective for attenuating decay. A scoping review aims at identifying, summarizing, and mapping the body of literature on a given topic. Searches in electronic databases, including PsycArticles, PsyINFO, and Psyndex, via EBSCOhost and Web of Science and Google Scholar were conducted, and documents were analyzed regarding the research question, which resulted in n
= 58 studies. The findings demonstrate the relevance of task characteristics and method-related (cognitive-based, behavioral-based training) and person-related factors (e.g., cognitive ability, experience, motivation) to mitigate decay. Additionally, the results demonstrate that minor refresher interventions are effective at attenuating complex cognitive skill decay. Implications for industry and training providers that aim to implement training and refresher interventions to attenuate skill decay in high-risk industries are provided. Researchers may use the information about the influences of person- and method-related factors, task characteristics, and refresher interventions presented in this scoping review as a starting point to conduct further empirical research by taking skill acquisition, retention, and transfer into account.
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