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Methods for Measuring Conscious and Automatic Memory: A Brief Review

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Abstract:

Memory researchers have discussed the relationship between consciousness and memory frequently in the last few decades. Beginning with research by Warrington and Weiskrantz (1968; 1970), memory has been shown to influence task performance even without awareness of retrieval. Data from amnesic patients show that a study episode influences task performance despite their lack of conscious memory for the study session. More recently, issues of intentionality, awareness, and the relationship between conscious and unconscious forms of memory have come to the forefront. Conscious memory has sometimes been defined by intention to retrieve and sometimes by awareness of retrieval. This distinction has been debated as measurement methodologies have developed. In addition, the functional relationship between conscious and automatic forms of memory has implications for measurement of memory processes and the development of models of memory task performance. Several measurement techniques for conscious and automatic memory are reviewed. The current state of these issues is also discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Illinois State University, Campus Box 4620, Normal, IL 61790-4620, USA, Email: dmmcbri@ilstu.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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