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Experiment Author: Yili Wang. Adapted from STEP (student submission to Research Methods class) and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
Investigates whether participants will implicitly learn that a response follows a particular image in a series of images.
In this experiment a series of pictures appears on screen. Occasionally the word "Now" appears at the center of the screen. Press the spacebar as soon as the word "Now" is available. Next, another series of pictures appears. If you recall the picture from before, press "y" for Yes. If you do not recall the picture from before, press "n" for No.
Human beings have an amazing mechanism for acquiring new information. This system can not only handle extremely complex situations but can also operate without in the background of people’s lives. Most people usually do not realize that much of what they know – the social rules by which they live, the ever-changing world surrounding them, the numerous people in their lives with myriad types of personalities – silently register in their brains without their conscious knowledge. So actually how fast and accurate is this type of learning? Does implicit learning exist in the simplest case such as recognizing trivial patterns in the order in which the pictures appear? Through this experiment, the very basis of implicit learning is investigated and the results are carefully analyzed.