Failing to find context-dependency in perceptual implicit memory: evidence against an episodic view?
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This dissertation tested the hypothesis that perceptual implicit memory is affected not just by the prior perceptual processing, but also by prior decisions resulting from the perceptual processing. According to the proposed view, three aspects of the context can potentially affect the level of perceptual implicit memory---the physical context (what are the surroundings in which the stimulus occurs and a decision is made?), the decision processing context (what kind of decision is being made about the stimulus?), and the response context (what action is taken based upon the decision that is reached?);Three predictions of the proposed view were tested. The first prediction was that higher levels of perceptual implicit memory should be found when the decision made concerning the word at test matches the decision made concerning the word at encoding. The second prediction was that higher levels of perceptual implicit memory should be found when the response made to the word at test matches the response made to word at encoding. The third prediction was that higher levels of perceptual implicit memory should be found when the physical context surrounding the word at encoding is important to the decision processes and matches the test context;The predictions were tested in three experiments. Each of the experiments tested for the presence of a context-dependency effect in perceptual implicit memory. Experiment 1 tested for the presence of a decision process context-dependency effect. Experiment 2 tested for the presence of a response process context-dependency effect. Experiments 3a and 3b tested for the presence of a physical (environmental) context-dependency effect. No evidence was found to support the proposed view. No context-dependency effect was found in any of the experiments. Together, the results provide support for the standard view that perceptual implicit memory only reflects changes within a perceptual, lexical processing system.