Valid distinctions between conscious and unconscious perception?
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In this commentary, we discuss the strengths and limitations of Snodgrass, Bernat, and Shevrin’s (2004) theory of unconscious perception. Our commentary centers on the value of signal detection theory (SDT) to understanding the unconscious perception controversy, a value that Snodgrass et al. for the most part agree with (i.e., that most approaches to studying unconscious perception are invalid because they have confounded the criterion for detection with the criterion for awareness). However, we believe that their model relies on a somewhat restricted application of SDT. We discuss how SDT can be better applied to provide the necessary tests to validate their model.
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