Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : According to functionalist theories, consciousness can be defined by the functions that it serves and by the way it contributes to cognition. For example, when trying to establish dissociations between conscious and unconscious knowledge, conscious representations would be identified by the fact that they allow cognitive control or successful identification or recollection, assessed by verbal reports or forced-choice tasks. Even though the functionalist approach has brought about important dissociation results concerning conscious and unconscious cognition, critics emphasize that it does not account for the qualitative properties of conscious experience. Phenomenal theories are precisely based on the notion that conscious representations are such that it feels like something to have these representations. Thus, one way to assess conscious knowledge is to ask people, after they have produced a forced-choice response, to identify their mental states through the use of subjective confidence ratings, in which they discriminate between a complete guess and a response based on some feeling of knowing. However, these 2 approaches are not mutually exclusive. In this article, we review a series of studies showing that the joint use of objective judgments about some external stimuli and about one’s own subjective knowledge concerning these stimuli, provides new insights into the putative dissociation between conscious and unconscious knowledge in learning.