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The unconscious feeling of knowing: a commentary on Koriat's paper.

journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2000 by Michaela K. Spehn, Lynne M. Reder

In Koriat's paper "The Feeling of Knowing: Some Metatheoretical Implications for Consciousness and Control," he asserts that the feeling of knowing straddles the implicit and explicit, and that these conscious feelings enter into a conscious control process that is necessary for controlled behavior. This assertion allows him to make many speculations on the nature of consciousness itself. We agree that feelings of knowing are produced through a monitoring of one's knowledge, and that this monitoring can affect the control of behavior such as whether or not to search memory for an answer. Further, we believe that monitoring of performance with a strategy can also affect cognition control and strategy selection; however, we also believe that frequently this monitoring and control occurs without conscious awareness. Feeling of knowing has received an inordinate amount of attention because it lies behind the highly recognizable tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon that represents one of the rare cases of conscious monitoring. There are other feelings of knowing which are much more common and are not accompanied by conscious awareness. These are evident in the early selection of a strategy for answering a problem. In our view, the research on feeling of knowing will not resolve the question of whether consciousness is merely epiphenomenal.

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01/06/2000

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