implicit learning

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Acquisition of information occurring largely without conscious effort or explicit knowledge of what is learned. The second part of the definition is controversial because of the difficulty of proving that participants lack knowledge of what they have learned. The concept was introduced in 1967 by the US psychologist Arthur S. Reber (born 1940) in an article in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior in which he reported evidence that, after viewing a series of letter strings formed according to an artificial finite-state grammar, participants who had little conscious insight into the underlying rule structure were nevertheless able to classify new letter strings as to whether or not they conformed to the grammar. See also wug test. Compare implicit memory. [From Latin implicitus interwoven, from implicare to interweave, from plicare to fold + English learning]

Subjects: Psychology.

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