Errors: Friend or foe?: The theory and evidence base for error-based learning

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Ownsworth, Tamara
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Haslam, C
Kessels, RPC
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2018
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Abstract

Everyone can relate to the experience of making errors or mistakes. Sometimes errors have little consequence, and can even be amusing. However, errors can have more serious consequences when these cause embarrassment, are costly, and lower people’s safety and independence (e.g., taking too much medication). After a brain injury people are not only more likely to make errors, but they are less likely to recognise and correct their own errors than neurologically healthy individuals (Giovannetti, Libon & Hart, 2002; Hart, Giovanetti, Montgomery & Schwartz, 1998). Error self-regulation problems are commonly experienced by people with neurological disorders, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI; see Hart et al., 1998; O’Keeffe, Dockree & Robertson, 2004), stroke (Stemmer, Segalowitz, Witzke & Schonle, 2004) and dementia (Bettcher, Giovannetti, Macmullen & Libon, 2008; Giovannetti et al., 2002). These impairments typically arise from damage to the prefrontal cortex and connecting pathways which support “metacognition” or the capacity to accurately reflect upon and regulate one’s own behaviour (e.g., error self-regulation). Over the last two decades the theory and evidence base supporting the use of error-based learning as a form of metacognitive skills training has advanced considerably. In contrast to errorless (EL) learning, an error-based learning approach involves providing structured opportunities for people to make errors and to become aware of and correct their own errors during task performance. Through systematic feedback from therapists, the goal of error-based learning is to teach people to regularly stop, check and modify their actions, and to flexibly apply these internal self-regulation steps as needed in daily situations.

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Errorless Learning in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Mechanisms, Efficacy and Application
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Other psychology not elsewhere classified
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