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S-shaped learning curves As per A Umar Mukthar's comment, the phenomenon is known as an S-shaped learning curve. They have been a known phenomenon in psychology for many decades, and were originally attributed to trial-and-error learning sets (Harlow, 1949). Harlow defined a learning set in the following manner: The monkeys learn how to learn individual ...


I was unable to find this in a scientific paper, and it is not clear from the sources I did locate that this work was ever actually published. However, I found other sources that reference this work and several similar studies comparing humans to rats. The study you mention is also referenced briefly in Tetlock's (2005) book on political judgment; a ...

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