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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Experimental Methods and Conceptual Confusion


According to Grau and Joynes (2005), (1) the current classification of types of learning is based on methodology and assumes a correspondence between types of learning and distinct neural-functional mechanisms; (2) this assumption is wrong because experiments show that different mechanisms may underlie the same type of learning; consequently, (3) we should change the teaching of the psychology of learning. I argue that because Grau and Joynes misunderstood the nature of the classification of learning phenomena and cloaked their research findings with a garb of conceptual errors and infelicities, their recommendations concerning the teaching of learning should be rejected.

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