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There are two aspects of this study that I think nullify its value.

First, they take naive user reasoning as normative. Nobody remains a naive user for long. When I first started leaning to program, shifting from set-based to iteration-based reasoning about collections was a bit of a jolt, but it didn't take me long to become comfortable with it.

Second, they ignore that programming is an activity requiring much more precise reasoning than typical daily life. You must learn to think differently and it is beneficial for the notation to enforce this.

I will also point out that English-like programming languages have been promoted for decades and they haven't caught on.

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