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Mem Cognit. 1993 May;21(3):304-17.

On the existence of independent explicit and implicit learning systems: an examination of some evidence.

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MRC Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, England.


Hayes and Broadbent (1988), among others, have proposed that there are two independent systems of learning in humans. In their theory, they postulate that the explicit learning system gives rise to knowledge that is verbally describable, whereas the implicit learning system deals with knowledge that is not amenable to verbal report. Hayes and Broadbent presented data that they claimed supports a distinction between these two systems of learning. Their experiments involved the performance of subjects on two superficially similar tasks, and their claim was that one of the tasks induced learning in the explicit system, and the other induced learning in the implicit system. However, in five experiments here, we failed to find any convincing support for their empirical or theoretical claims. Our results suggest that the two tasks do not differ by inducing different types of learning, but simply differ in their degree of difficulty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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