The effect of subjective awareness measures on performance in artificial grammar learning task

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Abstract

Systematic research into implicit learning requires well-developed awareness-measurement techniques. Recently, trial-by-trial measures have been widely used. However, they can increase complexity of a study because they are an additional experimental variable. We tested the effects of these measures on performance in artificial grammar learning study. Four groups of participants were assigned to different awareness measures conditions: confidence ratings, post-decision wagering, decision strategy attribution or none. Decision-strategy-attribution participants demonstrated better grammar learning and longer response times compared to controls. They also exhibited a conservative bias. Grammaticality by itself was a stronger predictor of strings endorsement in decision-strategy-attribution group compared to other groups. Confidence ratings and post-decision wagering only affected the response times. These results were supported by an additional experiment that used a balanced chunk strength design. We conclude that a decision-strategy-attribution procedure may force participants to adopt an analytical decision-making strategy and rely mostly on conscious knowledge of artificial grammar.

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Ivanchei, I. I., & Moroshkina, N. V. (2018). The effect of subjective awareness measures on performance in artificial grammar learning task. Consciousness and Cognition, 57, 116–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2017.11.010

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