Evolutionary considerations: the primacy of the implicit

Arthur S. Reber

in Implicit Learning and Tacit Knowledge

Published in print September 1996 | ISBN: 9780195106589
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871698 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

Evolutionary considerations: the primacy of the implicit

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This chapter introduces the foundations of the evolutionary model and develops the formal theory. The model is based on the assumption of the primacy of the implicit and axioms derived from Wimsatt's model of “generative retrenchment” to make several rather surprising predictions about differences in implicit and explicit systems. Specifically, implicit functions should be more robust than explicit; emerge earlier in development; retain their effectiveness well into old age while consciously modulated functions wane; show relatively little in the way of individual-to-individual variation; be uncorrelated with intelligence; and show a pattern of cross-species commonality in basic operations. The existing literature on these topics is discussed.

Keywords: evolutionary biology; implicit functions; generative retrenchment; cognition; age-related functions; individual differences; interspecies comparisons

Chapter.  17308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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