Unconscious perception: Attention, awareness, and control.

  • Debner J
  • Jacoby L
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Conscious perception is substantially overestimated when standard measurement techniques are used. That overestimation has contributed to the controversial nature of studies of unconscious perception. A process-dissociation procedure (L. L. Jacoby, 1991) was used for separately estimating the contribution of conscious and unconscious perception to performance of a stem-completion task. Unambiguous evidence for unconscious perception was obtained in 4 experiments. In Experiment 1, decreasing the duration of a briefly presented word diminished the contribution of both conscious and unconscious perception. In Experiments 2-4, dividing attention reduced the contribution of conscious perception while leaving that of unconscious perception unchanged. Discussion focuses on the measurement of awareness and the relation between perception and memory.

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  • J A Debner

  • L L Jacoby

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