Unconscious Perception: Methodology, SDT, Evidence, and Implications for Consciousness
Lepisto, Douglas A.
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Unconscious perception research employs complex methodology in order to differentiate . conscious from unconscious perceptual influences. The two approaches, subjective reports, or subjective thresholds, and objective evidence of chance performance, or objective thresholds, have been debated as to which properly indexes unconscious perception. A comprehensive literary review covers the fundamentals of unconscious perception research including the advantages and critiques of the two approaches, Signal Detection Theory, and evidence supporting the objective threshold approach. Recently, Merilde, Smilek, and Eastwood (2001) argued that results obtained at objective thresholds are merely conservative subjective threshold findings. The current research investigated the effect of valence on. performance at the objective and subjective threshold. The results support qualitatively difference performance at the two thresholds. Participants better detected and identified positive words than negative words at the objective threshold, but better detected and identified negative words than positive words at the subjective threshold. The authors propose this evidence corresponds with Block's (1997, 2001) theory.of.two forms of consciousness.