Learning Curve

DEFINITION of 'Learning Curve'

A concept that describes how new skills or knowledge can be quickly acquired initially, but subsequent learning becomes much slower. At first, a minimal investment of resources yields significant results, but the payback from continuing effort is smaller. The learning curve was first described by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 and elaborated by psychologist Arthur Bills in 1934.

BREAKING DOWN 'Learning Curve'

In a visual representation of a learning curve, a steeper curve indicates faster, easier learning and a flatter curve indicates slower, more difficult learning. The concept of a learning curve is important to companies in hiring and training new employees and managers, in working to increase production efficiency, and in budgeting and forecasting costs.



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