The resurgent science of consciousness has been accompanied by a recent emphasis on the problem of measurement. Having dependable measures of consciousness is essential both for mapping experimental evidence to theory and for designing perspicuous experiments. Here, we review a series of behavioural and brain-based measures, assessing their ability to track graded consciousness and clarifying how they relate to each other by showing what theories are presupposed by each. We identify possible and actual conflicts among measures that can stimulate new (...) experiments, and we conclude that measures must prove themselves by iteratively building knowledge in the context of theoretical frameworks. Advances in measuring consciousness have implications for basic cognitive neuroscience, for comparative studies of consciousness and for clinical applications. (shrink)
An accessible and illuminating exploration of the conceptual basisof scientific and statistical inference and the practical impact this has on conducting psychological research. The book encourages a critical discussion of the different approaches and looks at some of the most important thinkers and their influence.
This paper considers different subjective measures of conscious and unconscious knowledge in a concept formation paradigm. In particular, free verbal reports are compared with two subjective measures, the zero-correlation and the guessing criteria, based on trial-by-trial confidence ratings (a type of on-line verbal report). Despite the fact that free verbal reports are frequently dismissed as being insensitive measures of conscious knowledge, a considerable bulk of research on implicit learning has traditionally relied on this measure of consciousness, because it is widely (...) regarded as almost self-evident that the content of any conscious state that is intentional and conceptual can be expressed verbally. However, we found that the most recently developed subjective measures based on trial-by-trial confidence ratings provided a more sensitive measure of conscious and unconscious knowledge than free verbal reports. In a complementary way, the qualitative pattern of the free report and the confidence measures were similar, providing further evidence for the validity of the latter. (shrink)
We consider Perruchet & Vinter's (P&V's) central claim that all mental representations are conscious. P&V require some way of fixing their meaning of representation to avoid the claim becoming either obviously false or unfalsifiable. We use the framework of Dienes and Perner (1999) to provide a well-specified possible version of the claim, in which all representations of a minimal degree of explicitness are postulated to be conscious.
In this response, we start from first principles, building up our theory to show more precisely what assumptions we do and do not make about the representational nature of implicit and explicit knowledge (in contrast to the target article, where we started our exposition with a description of a fully fledged representational theory of knowledge (RTK). Along the way, we indicate how our analysis does not rely on linguistic representations but it implies that implicit knowledge is causally efficacious; we discuss (...) the relationship between property structure implicitness and conceptual and nonconceptual content; then we consider the factual, fictional, and functional uses of representations and how we go from there to consciousness. Having shown how the basic theory deals with foundational criticisms, we indicate how the theory can elucidate issues that commentators raised in the particular application areas of explicitation, voluntary control, visual perception, memory, development (with discussion on infancy, theory of mind [TOM] and executive control, gestures), and finally models of learning. (shrink)
O'Brien & Opie's position is consistent with the existence of implicit learning and subliminal perception below a subjective threshold but it is inconsistent with various other findings in the literature. The main problem with the theory is that it attributes consciousness to too many things. Incorporating the higher order thought theory renders their position more plausible.