Experience and Description: Exploring Two Paths to Knowledge

Authors: Robin Hogarth (1942-2024), and

Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 27, No 2, 123-128, April, 2018

Experience and description are powerful ways of learning and adaptation. Recently, evidence has shown that these can imply systematically distinct cognitions and behaviors. However, there has been little integrative conceptual work. Drawing on different lines of research, we characterize experience and description, sketch the factors that influence learning from them, and suggest how to reconcile previously disparate research. We propose that much can be gained by studying the behavioral, cognitive, and hedonic implications of description- and experience-based learning in parallel.