Conscious and unconscious: passing judgment

Mealor, Andrew D (2013) Conscious and unconscious: passing judgment. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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The extent to which conscious and unconscious mental processes contribute to our experiences
of learning and the subsequent knowledge has been subject to great debate. Dual process
theories of implicit learning and recognition memory bear many resemblances, but there are also
important differences. This thesis uses subjective measures of awareness to explore these
themes using the artificial grammar learning (AGL) and remember/know (R/K) procedures.

Firstly, the relationship between response times associated with intuition and familiarity
based responding (conscious judgment of unconscious structural knowledge) compared to rule
and recollection based responding (conscious structural knowledge) in AGL were found to be
strikingly similar to remembering and knowing; their R/K analogues. However, guessing
(unconscious judgment knowledge) was also distinct from intuition and familiarity based
responding. Secondly, implicit learning in AGL was shown to occur at test, which would not be
expected in R/K. Finally, wider theories of cognition, unconscious thought and verbal
overshadowing, were shown to have measurable effects on AGL and R/K respectively. The
approach used in this thesis shows the merits of both in-depth analysis within a given method
combined with the synthesis of seemingly disparate theories.

This thesis has built upon the important distinction between conscious and unconscious
structural knowledge but also suggests the conscious-unconscious division for judgment
knowledge may be as important. Implicit learning and recognition memory tasks differ in the
kinds of mental processes that subjective measures are sensitive toward; particularly so in
situations where judgment knowledge is unconscious. Different theories and methods divide
nature in different ways; the conscious-unconscious judgment distinction may prove an
important one.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1001 Parapsychology > BF1031 Psychic research. Psychology of the conscious
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2013 18:47
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015 11:58

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