Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Psychol (Amst). 2018 Mar;184:1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.09.015. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

The implications and applications of learning via instructions.

Author information

Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


Whereas psychology knows a long tradition of studies that focused on the role of practice and training in acquiring new skills or knowledge, systematic studies into learning via instructions remain relatively scarce. This is surprising given the tremendous influence instructions have on human behavior and cognition. In recent years, however, a (re)new(ed) interest into learning via instructions resulted in new paradigms and findings that can inspire future research in this understudied domain. We offer a brief overview of the articles in this special issue, which present some of the latest empirical developments dedicated to unraveling the implications and applications of learning via instructions. The special issue offers insights into the dynamics underlying the assimilation of new instructions and highlights the strengths and limitations of what can be achieved on the basis of instructions. Furthermore, the different studies showcase various examples of recent methodological advances in testing the effects of instructions. Finally, this special issue shows how different fields in psychology share similar questions on the role of instructions in human behavior, suggesting that this topic should no longer be considered as a subsidiary of these different fields, but as a research field on its own.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center