Subjective measures of awareness and implicit cognition

Abstract

In this article, we examine whether artificial grammar learning is implicit according to a subjective criterion of awareness based on confidence ratings. In four experiments, participants discriminated between grammatical and ungrammatical sequences in both the same (Experiment 1) and a novel (Experiments 2–4) vocabulary and indicated their confidence in each decision. Replicating earlier studies, confidence judgments reported on a continuous scale (50%–100%) were only weakly related to accuracy, suggesting that learning was implicit. In contrast, confidence judgments reported on a binary scale (high vs. low) revealed that confidence was related to accuracy. We show that participants are better able to place their phenomenal states on a binary scale, as compared with a continuous scale.

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Correspondence to Richard J. Tunney.

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The research was funded by the United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council. The work is part of the program of the ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution, University College London.

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Tunney, R.J., Shanks, D.R. Subjective measures of awareness and implicit cognition. Memory & Cognition 31, 1060–1071 (2003). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196127

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Keywords

  • Confidence Rating
  • Implicit Learning
  • Confidence Judgment
  • Phenomenal State
  • Discrimination Accuracy