Effects of divided attention and speeded responding on implicit and explicit retrieval of artificial grammar knowledge
Helman, S. and Berry, D.C. (2003) Effects of divided attention and speeded responding on implicit and explicit retrieval of artificial grammar knowledge. Memory & Cognition, 31 (5). pp. 703-714. ISSN 0090-502X
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The artificial grammar (AG) learning literature (see, e.g., Mathews et al., 1989; Reber, 1967) has relied heavily on a single measure of implicitly acquired knowledge. Recent work comparing this measure (string classification) with a more indirect measure in which participants make liking ratings of novel stimuli (e.g., Manza & Bornstein, 1995; Newell & Bright, 2001) has shown that string classification (which we argue can be thought of as an explicit, rather than an implicit, measure of memory) gives rise to more explicit knowledge of the grammatical structure in learning strings and is more resilient to changes in surface features and processing between encoding and retrieval. We report data from two experiments that extend these findings. In Experiment 1, we showed that a divided attention manipulation (at retrieval) interfered with explicit retrieval of AG knowledge but did not interfere with implicit retrieval. In Experiment 2, we showed that forcing participants to respond within a very tight deadline resulted in the same asymmetric interference pattern between the tasks. In both experiments, we also showed that the type of information being retrieved influenced whether interference was observed. The results are discussed in terms of the relatively automatic nature of implicit retrieval and also with respect to the differences between analytic and nonanalytic processing (Whittlesea Price, 2001).
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