An experiment tested the common assumption that implicit and explicit knowledge are forgotten at different rates. In a training phase participants responded to sequences of letters generated by a finite-state grammar by pressing corresponding letters on a keyboard. A control group responded to randomized sequences. Participants were tested immediately following training and after intervals of seven and fourteen days. During each test participants responded to the letters of old and new sequences, and performed a concurrent recognition test Priming was indexed by the time taken to respond to the sequences. In the immediate test both priming and recognition were substantially greater than the control group. In the delayed tests the level of priming remained unchanged but recognition had declined. The data indicate that priming and recognition decay at different rates, and are discussed with reference to both single and dual process models of memory.
- Implicit learning