Is there a difference between remembering something and knowing something?

Essay by sarahkittyUniversity, Bachelor'sB, May 2009

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Memory is the mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience. It's a very complex system and to understand it there have been many theories that attempt to explain it. In order to help me answer this question, I will look at the theorist JM Gardiner, along with other theorists such as Tulving, Mandler and Schacter in order to help me conclude if they are the same thing, inter-related or completely different.

Tulving (1985), distinguished between two quite different recollective experiences: remembering, which is someone's concrete awareness of oneself (autonoetic consciousness) in the past, which is driven by the prefrontal cortex, allows people to mentally represent past, present, and future experiences in a highly personal and subjective manner. And knowing, which is your abstract knowledge (noetic consciousness) of the past, which is the feeling that we know certain information and that the information is objective rather than subjective.

Gardiner and colleagues (Gardiner & Java, 1990, 1993; Gardiner, Richardson-Klavhen, & Ramponi, 1997) developed a test in which participants are given a recognition task for a list of common words viewed earlier and classify each of the recognized items as something they remember (R response) or know (K response), was on the study list.

Participants received detailed instructions so that their R responses and K responses reflect retrieval from episodic and semantic memory. For example, participants are told to make R responses to test items that they can consciously reexperience from the study list (e.g., participants make R responses to test items because in their mind's eye, they consciously recollect seeing those words on the study list). In contrast, participants are told to make K responses to test items if they (a) are certain those were on the study list but (b) have no specific personal or contextual recollection of the...