Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Dienes & Perner: Implicit and explicit knowledge

Unconscious motivation and phenomenal knowledge: Toward a comprehensive theory of implicit mental states

Robert F. Bornstein a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325


A comprehensive theory of implicit and explicit knowledge must explain phenomenal knowledge (e.g., knowledge regarding one's affective and motivational states), as well as propositional (i.e., “fact”-based) knowledge. Findings from several research areas (i.e., the subliminal mere exposure effect, artificial grammar learning, implicit and self-attributed dependency needs) are used to illustrate the importance of both phenomenal and propositional knowledge for a unified theory of implicit and explicit mental states.