Written by Andrei R. COSTEA, Răzvan JURCHIȘ, Adrian N. OPRE on . Posted in Special section: Volume XX, Nr 4


Andrei R. COSTEA*, Răzvan JURCHIȘ*, Adrian N. OPRE

Cognitive Psychology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


The implicit cognitive phenomena are complex and difficult to separate because they often interact with each other. Even though these processes are extensively studied, research on the possible interactions between them is limited. We investigate whether the expression of knowledge acquired from an implicit learning task can be facilitated by subliminal priming. Serial reaction time task is used in the acquisition phase and process dissociation procedure is applied in the test phase. The priming manipulation was superimposed over the test phase. Fifty percent of the primes were congruent with the acquisition structure (i.e., primed the same element as the learned structure) and the rest of 50% were incongruent with the learned structure. Our results show that congruent primes facilitated responding according to the structure only when participants were unaware of it. When participants were aware of the structure, they tended to exclude the influences of primes. This suggests that when participants possess conscious knowledge of the structure and have to use it in a task, the cognitive system protects the conscious base of knowledge from extraneous influences. When participants were unaware of the structure, they also relied more on unconscious information that did not come from knowledge of the structure (i.e., that comes from primes). Implications and limitations of these findings as well as further directions of research are discussed.

KEYWORDS: implicit learning; implicit perception; subliminal priming; cognitive unconscious

PAGES: 331-343

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