An integrated theory for improved skill acquisition and retention in the three stages of learning

Jong W. Kim, Frank E. Ritter, Richard J. Koubek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Scopus citations


We introduce an integrated theory of learning and forgetting that has implications for training theory and practice. We begin with a review of skill acquisition research that argues that individuals employ different cognitive mechanisms when learning, which can be reliably associated with three stages of learning. This review leads to our proposed skill retention theory, which recommends a method to increase skill retention when designing systems, covering a range of system design issues, from interface design to training. We conclude with a discussion of how we might optimise skill retention based upon this approach. Specifically, we discuss how we might improve training by better spacing the iterations between training sessions to support proceduralisaion to improve skill retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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