Dissociating word stem completion and cued recall as a function of divided attention at retrieval
Clarke, A.J.B. and Butler, L.T. (2008) Dissociating word stem completion and cued recall as a function of divided attention at retrieval. Memory, 16 (7). pp. 763-772. ISSN 0965-8211
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/09658210802261116
The aim of this study was to investigate the widely held, but largely untested, view that implicit memory (repetition priming) reflects an automatic form of retrieval. Specifically, in Experiment 1 we explored whether a secondary task (syllable monitoring), performed during retrieval, would disrupt performance on explicit (cued recall) and implicit (stem completion) memory tasks equally. Surprisingly, despite substantial memory and secondary costs to cued recall when performed with a syllable-monitoring task, the same manipulation had no effect on stem completion priming or on secondary task performance. In Experiment 2 we demonstrated that even when using a particularly demanding version of the stem completion task that incurred secondary task costs, the corresponding disruption to implicit memory performance was minimal. Collectively, the results are consistent with the view that implicit memory retrieval requires little or no processing capacity and is not seemingly susceptible to the effects of dividing attention at retrieval.