Implicit memory: Retention without remembering

American Psychologist 45:1043-1056 (1990)
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Explicit measures of human memory, such as recall or recognition, reflect conscious recollection of the past. Implicit tests of retention measure transfer (or priming) from past experience on tasks that do not require conscious recollection of recent experiences for their performance. The article reviews research on the relation between explicit and implicit memory. The evidence points to substantial differences between standard explicit and implicit tests, because many variables create dissociations between these tests. For example, although pictures are remembered better than words on explicit tests, words produce more priming than do pictures on several implicit tests. These dissociations may implicate different memory systems that subserve distinct memorial functions, but the present argument is that many dissociations can be understood by appealing to general principles that apply to both explicit and implicit tests. Phenomena studied under the rubric of implicit memory may have important implications in many other fields, including social cognition, problem solving, and cognitive development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)



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