A comparison of 'errorless' and 'trial-and-error' learning methods for teaching individuals with acquired memory deficits

Jonathan J. Evans, Barbara A. Wilson, Uwe Schuri, Jackie Andrade, Alan Baddeley, Olga Bruna, Tony Canavan, Sergio Della Sala, Robin Green, Ritva Laaksonen, Lorena Lorenzi, Irene Taussik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present nine experiments, in three study phases, which test the hypothesis that learning methods which prevent the making of errors ('errorless learning') will lead to greater learning than 'trial-and-error' learning methods amongst individuals who are memory impaired as a result of acquired brain injury. Results suggest that tasks and situations which facilitate retrieval of implicit memory for the learned material (such as learning names with a first letter cue) will benefit from errorless learning methods, whilst those that require the explicit recall of novel associations (such as learning routes or programming an electronic organiser) will not benefit from errorless learning. The more severely amnesic patients benefit to a greater extent from errorless learning methods than those who are less severely memory impaired, but this may only apply when the interval between learning and recall is relatively short.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-101
Number of pages35
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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