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Implicit Learning
Implicit learning
David R.Shanks

Implicit learning is generally characterized as learning that proceeds both unintentionally and unconsciously. Here are some examples:

  • Reber (1967), who coined the term ‘implicit learning’, asked participants to study a series of letter strings such as VXVS for a few seconds each. Then he told them that these strings were all constructed according to a particular set of rules (that is, a grammar; see Figure 8.1) and that in the test phase they would see some new strings and would have to decide which ones conformed to the same rules and which ones did not. Participants could make these decisions with better-than-chance accuracy but had little ability to describe the rules. For example, participants could not recall correctly which letters began ...

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