Unlearning: A special research/evidence-based guide

The Oxford Review Research-Based Guide to Unlearning

The Oxford Review Research-Based Guide to Unlearning

Keywords: unlearning, unlearn, learning, knowledge, forgetting, psychological unlearning, organisational unlearning


There has been a fairly constant and consistent interest over the past few years in the ideas of unlearning, to unlearn and how to unlearn in both the popular and research literature.

The idea of unlearning has firmly entered the organisational development rhetoric as well as that of individual human learning. But what is it and what does the latest research evidence actually say about it?

This 14 page special report looks at the very latest research evidence for unlearning.



  • Unlearning: The latest research
  • Background
  • Criticism
  • The psychological non-origins of unlearning
  • Theory Change and Unlearning
  • Unlearning in the organisational development and management literature
  • Parenthetical learning
  • New research on unlearning
  • What is there evidence for?
  • Conclusion
  • References

Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.