Other Evidence For Differences Between Implicit and Explicit Memory
Besides the study of amnesic patients, other evidence also indicates a separation between implicit and explicit memory. Basic patterns that exist for explicit memory development do not apply to implicit memory, implying that the two are two different processes. Children tested at various increasing ages, in different stages of development, do not exhibit the same increase in performance in implicit memory tasks the way they always do with explicit memory tasks. The same is true for elderly people. Studies show that as people grow older, their performance on explicit memory tasks declines, however their performance on implicit memory tasks does not decline at all.
Many experiments have been performed to demonstrate the differences between implicit and explicit memory. One such method of differentiation is revealed through the depth-of-processing effect. In a 1981 study by Jacoby and Dallas, subjects were first given a list of words and asked to engage with them in some way. For some of these words, subjects were asked to interact with the words in a relatively superficial way, such as counting the number of letters in each given word. For one set of words, subjects performed tasks that required elaborative processing (denotation), such as answering questions about a word’s meaning. They were then given a test that assessed their ability to recognize whether they had seen the word in the studying part of the experiment. Because depth of processing aids in the explicit memory of a word, subjects showed better memory for the words that required elaborative processing on this test. When implicit memory was tested through flashing words on a screen and asking subjects to identify them, however, the priming effect was extremely similar for the words that involved elaborative processing as compared to the words that did not. This suggests that implicit memory does not rely on depth of processing as explicit memory does.
The same study also tested the effect on memory by priming the words via an auditory test and then testing through visual stimuli. In this case, there was little decline in the priming effect when patients were tested explicitly by merely being asked whether they recognized hearing the word in the first part of the experiment. On the word identification test of implicit memory, however, the priming effect was severely reduced by the change in modality from the studying part to the testing part.
A later study showed that attempts to interfere with the memory of a list of words significantly impacted subjects’ ability to recognize the words in a test of explicit recognition, but the interference did not have a similar effect on the subject’s implicit memory of the words. Also, there seems to be no statistical correlation between a person’s ability to explicitly remember a list of words and their ability to subconsciously use the priming effect to aid performance in identifying previously seen words in tests of word completion. All of these results strongly indicate that implicit memory not only exists, but exists as its own entity, with its own processes that significantly differ from explicit memory.
Read more about this topic: Implicit Memory, Evidence For The Separation of Implicit and Explicit Memory
Famous quotes containing the words memory, explicit, evidence, differences and/or implicit:
“The advantage of having a bad memory is that you can enjoy the same good things for the first time several times.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“Like dreaming, reading performs the prodigious task of carrying us off to other worlds. But reading is not dreaming because books, unlike dreams, are subject to our will: they envelop us in alternative realities only because we give them explicit permission to do so. Books are the dreams we would most like to have, and, like dreams, they have the power to change consciousness, turning sadness to laughter and anxious introspection to the relaxed contemplation of some other time and place.”
—Victor Null, South African educator, psychologist. Lost in a Book: The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure, introduction, Yale University Press (1988)
“Yet in spite of all they sang in praise of their Elizas reign, we have evidence that poets may be born and sing in our day, in the presidency of James K. Polk.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The country is fed up with children and their problems. For the first time in history, the differences in outlook between people raising children and those who are not are beginning to assume some political significance. This difference is already a part of the conflicts in local school politics. It may spread to other levels of government. Society has less time for the concerns of those who raise the young or try to teach them.”
—Joseph Featherstone (20th century)
“The true colour of life is the colour of the body, the colour of the covered red, the implicit and not explicit red of the living heart and the pulses. It is the modest colour of the unpublished blood.”
—Alice Meynell (18471922)