Implicit Memory and Its Impact on Decision Making

Implicit Memory and Its Impact on Decision Making


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 28 Dec,2023

Implicit memory is important in decision-making since it determines our choices and actions without us being aware about them.

Here’s how implicit memory affects decision making:

Automatic Activation:

  1. Implicit memory functions automatically and unconsciously such that information stored in implicit memory can be retrieved with no need for an intention.
  2. Decision making benefits from this feature of automatic activation as it provides immediate, direct access to previously stored knowledge.

Bias and Preferences:

  1. Implicit memory is responsible for biases and preferences formed over the time.
  2. Prior positive or negative experiences with particular stimuli may give rise to implicit likes or dislikes which can affect a decision as far as these stimuli are concerned.

Also read:

Understanding Implicit Memory: How It Shapes Our Behavior

Emotional Influences:

  1. Emotional experiences are closely related to implicit memory about which decisions are made in similar emotional contexts.
  2. Decisions may be based on the association of pleasure or displeasure from specific circumstances or decisions made.

Skill-Based Decision Making:

  1.   Procedural memory, a type of implicit memory, is involved in the learning and execution of skills.
  2.  As procedural memory directs the performance of acquired skills automatically, decisions regarding skilled tasks become more efficient.

Priming Effects:

  1.  Priming is associated with implicit memory and involves presenting a stimulus that affects response to a subsequent stimulus.
  2. Therefore, prior exposure to relevant information can prime decision making by influencing choices without conscious awareness of their influence.

Habitual Responses:

  1. This means that learning occurs unconsciously through repetition thus leading to habits being formed due to unconscious memories
  2. Habits become second-nature responses that influence decision-making when practiced behaviors are appropriate in certain situations

Unconscious Learning:

  1.  Thus, associations between stimuli and outcomes can be learned without any knowledge of conscious processes taking place through implicit rather than explicit learning
  2. In other words, these learned associations may serve as guides for decision making although they cannot be consciously recalled.

Cultural and Social Influences:

  1.    Culture and society norms are internalized through implicit memory.
  2.    Therefore, decision making is influenced by implicit adherence to cultural values and social expectations learned over time.

Implicit Learning from Mistakes:

  1. When individuals make mistakes in their lives, implicit memory plays a key role in the process of learning from such mistakes
  2. To avoid repeating similar errors, decision-making processes may be affected by implicit memories of past mistakes that help create behavioral changes.

Intuitive Decision Making:

  1.  It is suggested that in decision-making, intuition and gut feelings are guided by implicit memory
  2. Quick intuitive decisions are often influenced by our ability to draw attention on past experiences and knowledge that we were not aware of.

Conditioning and Associations:

  1.    This type of learning is known as classical conditioning which forms associations between stimuli and responses through implicit memory
  2. Therefore, this can influence future decision-making process due to the existence of memories formed around conditioned stimuli.

Knowing how much implicit memory influences our decisions provides an insight into human cognition complexity. Explicit memory constitutes of conscious recall involving deliberate thought while implicit memory works behind the scenes for a more automatic and nuanced shaping of our responses or choices. Various scholars are exploring the relationship between these two phenomena; Implicit Memory and Decision Making in different contexts.

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