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

David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page