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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2007 Jan;33(1):34-54.

Psychometric intelligence dissociates implicit and explicit learning.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The hypothesis that performance on implicit learning tasks is unrelated to psychometric intelligence was examined in a sample of 605 German pupils. Performance in artificial grammar learning, process control, and serial learning did not correlate with various measures of intelligence when participants were given standard implicit instructions. Under an explicit rule discovery instruction, however, a significant relationship between performance on the learning tasks and intelligence appeared. This finding provides support for Reber's hypothesis that implicit learning, in contrast to explicit learning, is independent of intelligence, and confirms thereby the distinction between the 2 modes of learning. However, because there were virtually no correlations among the 3 learning tasks, the assumption of a unitary ability of implicit learning was not supported.

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