The goal of this paper is to discuss the main conceptual and methodological issues raised by implicit learning research I begin by stating a general definition of this implicit learning, and then discuss under which circumstances can such a definition be operationalized. I claim that (1) a specific relationship between intention to learn and the conscious vs. unconscious nature of the learning results should be assumed, and (2) that one of several possible assumptions regarding the sensitivity of any measure of performance to the contents of awareness should also be stipulated before it is possible to choose among several methodological strategies to demonstrate the existence of implicit learning. In the absence of a complete theory of awareness, it is argued that only the weakest assumption, namely that no measure of performance can be taken as an absolute index of awareness, can safely be accepted. However, despite the weakness of this methodological scenario, some empirical results (Jiménez, Mendez, & Cleeremans, 1996) are described as a way to illustrate that this framework still leaves some room to demonstrate the existence of implicit learning.
How to Cite:
Jiménez, L., 1997. Implicit Learning: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. Psychologica Belgica, 37(1-2), pp.9–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.906