Implicit Memory and Metacognition

By Lynne M. Reder | Go to book overview

Preface

This book is a collection of the papers presented at the 27th Carnegie Symposium on Cognition. The focus of this symposium was on metacognition and its relationship to implicit memory. Metacognition is a term that spans many subareas in psychology, and it means different things to different people. A dominant view has been that metacognition involves the monitoring of performance in order to control cognition; however, it seems reasonable (as Reder & Schunn argue in their chapter) that much of the control of cognitive processes runs implicitly, that is, without awareness. Newer still is the field of implicit memory, and likewise it has different connotations to different subgroups. Nevertheless, I take it to mean that a prior experience affects behavior without the individual's appreciation (ability to report) that such a prior event affected that behavior.

These two areas of memory research, implicit memory and metacognition, seem to be at two opposite ends of the spectrum -- one seemingly conscious and control-oriented, the other occurring without subjects' awareness. Do these processes relate to each other in interesting ways, or do they operate independently without reference to each other? The relatively novel conjecture that much of the control of cognition operates at an implicit level sparked my desire to explore the interrelations between the two fields -- metacognition and implicit memory.

Both fields are very new, having been developed in the last two decades, and they generate a lot of excitement and research interest. When I decided to organize this symposium I went to the library, looked for articles on

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