Understanding Interference and Inhibition Processes from a Motivational and Self-Regulated Learning Perspective: Comments on Dempster and Corkill

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Interference and inhibition processes as discussed by Dempster and Corkill (1999) are useful on two levels: first, metaphorically in terms of general themes for educational psychology, and, second, in terms of psychological mechanisms for understanding learning. At the same time, there are a number of issues that must be addressed in future theory and research before interference and inhibition processes can be accorded a primary explanatory role in models of learning, including the operation and sequencing of interference and inhibition processes in relation to other cognitive, motivational, and self-regulation processes; the definition and construction of the relevant–irrelevant information dimension; the role of interference and inhibition in the active selection of goals, strategies, and behavior; the stability and trait-like nature of interference and inhibition; the range of generality and applicability of interference and inhibition in relation to all other aspects of learning and behavior; and the utility and power of interference and inhibition as explanatory constructs.

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