Michael R Waldmann (1997)

Wissen und Lernen

Psychologische Rundschau, 48(2):84-100.

Learning is typically modelled as a domain-general, data driven, associative process. Even though the potential influence of top-down knowledge is often acknowledged, the typical theoretical approach postulates two separate modules for knowledge and learning. According to this view, knowledge may influence the initial defaults and the output of the learning process but not the structure of the learning mechanism itself. In contrast to this modular approach, this article defends the position that learning and prior knowledge interact. Theoretical analyses and empirical studies are presented that indicate that specific and abstract domain knowledge influence the structure of the learning processes.