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Unconscious influences on direct-test performance


Langford, PE and Mackenzie, BD, Unconscious influences on direct-test performance, Psychological Research, 58, (2) pp. 134-143. ISSN 0340-0727 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/BF00571101


From intense interest in implicit memory there have evolved various methods for separating the respective influence of implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) processes on performance of various tasks. Two experiments are reported, utilizing a levels-of-processing (LOP) approach to manipulate encoding level and comparable indirect (word-stem completion) and direct (cued-completion) retention tests. Confidence ratings of recollection were taken for each direct test response. The aim of these experiments was to explore the role that guessing plays in direct-test performance (Experiments 1 and 2) and to contrast this with performance in a comparable indirect test (Experiment 2). Analysis of correctly guessed responses showed that direct-test performance was reliably influenced by unconscious processes, but differently as a function of LOP. Guessing stems of nonsemantically processed words was found to enhance performance, whereas guessing stems of semantically processed words had no effect on performance. Results are discussed in terms of the similarity between guessing in a direct test and engaging in an indirect test, and subjects' unwitting resourcefulness at being able to retrieve words they cannot explicitly remember. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Sensory processes, perception and performance
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Langford, PE (Dr Peter Langford)
UTAS Author:Mackenzie, BD (Associate Professor Mackenzie)
ID Code:4966
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-24

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