Implicit Memory and Metacognition

By Lynne M. Reder | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Implicit Memory and Metacognition: Why Is the Glass Half Full?

John R. Anderson Carnegie Mellon University

This chapter is a commentary on four others in this volume ( Kihlstrom, Shames, & Dorfman, Chapter 1; Reder & Schunn, Chapter 3; Siegler, Adolph, & Lemaire, Chapter 4; Graf & Birt, Chapter 2), which all address quite directly the relationship between implicit memory and metacognition. The first three are concerned with the role of implicit memory in metacognitive judgments, whereas the last is concerned with metacognitive processes in implicit memory and learning tasks. As will become clear, I am very much in sympathy with the ideas set forth in each of these chapters because my own ACT-R theory ( Anderson, 1993) paints a very similar picture of human cognition. Rather than simply writing a laudatory commentary, it would be useful to compare and contrast each of the works with this theory. The many similarities serve to emphasize the growing consensus in the field. The differences, which I do not try to resolve, serve to indicate issues for further research. Before commenting on the chapters, I discuss the relationship between implicit memory and metacognition in the ACT-R theory; these considerations serve as the basis for my comments.


THE IMPLICIT-EXPLICIT DISTINCTION

There are all sorts of definitions of what is meant by implicit versus explicit cognitive processes, but the most straightforward is simply that explicit processes are those that are potentially reportable and implicit processes are

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