I think what you're referring to is the 'learning styles" set out y professor David Kolb in 1984.
He identifies learning as a cycle set out in 4 stages (divided into two levels).
And thee stages can be graphed on am axis of two variables:
He sees these variables as "choices" that we make in determining our preferred learning style.
Psychological variables in the learning cycle
He also identifies several influencing factors. Namely: Ones social environment, a person's education and scholastic experience, and the fundamental cognitive structure of the person's brain.
If you'd like to learn more about the learning cycle, I'd recommend reading up on it here for a little more depth: www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html
My understanding is that these theories help identify the type of learning process that an individual would be best suited to - allowing for more absorption and better academic performance!