Transfer of learning

Transfer (of learning) research can be loosely framed as the study of the dependency of human conduct, learning or performance on prior experience. The notion was originally introduced as transfer of practice by Edward Thorndike and Robert S. Woodworth (1901)[1]. They explored how individuals would transfer learning in one context to another context that shared similar characteristics.

Robert Haskell's 2001 Transfer of Learning book synthesizes across evolutionary, cognitive and instructional theories to discuss the history and applications of transfer of learning. [2]


  1. Classics in the History of Psychology - Thorndike & Woodworth (1901a)
  2. Haskell, R. E. (2000). Transfer of learning: Cognition and instruction. Academic Press.

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