Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Incidental learning of real world regularities in Britain and Japan

Kelly, Steve and Burton, A. and Kato, T. and Akamatsu, S. (2001) Incidental learning of real world regularities in Britain and Japan. Psychological Science, 12 (1). pp. 86-89. ISSN 0956-7976

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)


The large literature on incidental learning relies almost exclusively on laboratory experiments. Whenever researchers have attempted to demonstrate incidental learning of real-world regularities, they have typically failed to show learning. For example, it is well established that people do not learn regularities in everyday objects, such as the left-right orientation of faces on coins, despite a very large exposure to them. In this report, we examine this apparent contradiction. We argue that most studies exploring real-life incidental learning use tests that are not as sensitive to low-confidence information as those traditionally used in laboratory tasks. Using more sensitive measures, we show that it is possible to learn regularities from British and Japanese cultural life as a direct result of exposure to these regularities. Further, confidence measures suggest that although the information may be acquired incidentally, it can be expressed with and without concomitant awareness of that knowledge.