How variability shapes learning and generalization

Raviv, L. , Lupyan, G. and Green, S. C. (2022) How variability shapes learning and generalization. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 26(6), pp. 462-483. (doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2022.03.007) (PMID:35577719)

[img] Text
272070.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



Learning is using past experiences to inform new behaviors and actions. Because all experiences are unique, learning always requires some generalization. An effective way of improving generalization is to expose learners to more variable (and thus often more representative) input. More variability tends to make initial learning more challenging, but eventually leads to more general and robust performance. This core principle has been repeatedly rediscovered and renamed in different domains (e.g., contextual diversity, desirable difficulties, variability of practice). Reviewing this basic result as it has been formulated in different domains allows us to identify key patterns, distinguish between different kinds of variability, discuss the roles of varying task-relevant versus irrelevant dimensions, and examine the effects of introducing variability at different points in training.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Diversity, humans, language, categorization, language, Learning, learning, variability, generalization, psychological.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Raviv, Dr Limor
Authors: Raviv, L., Lupyan, G., and Green, S. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Trends in Cognitive Sciences
ISSN (Online):1879-307X
Published Online:13 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6:462-483
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record