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Implicit and explicit memory in social tagging: evidence from a process dissociation procedure

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Abstract

Motivation -- We analyzed the importance of social tags during an information search in a social software system. In particular, we examined the effects of tags on users' implicit/automatic and explicit/controlled memory processes. Research approach -- An experiment was conducted in which 48 students took part. By means of process dissociation and a multinomial model we tested our dual-process model (implicit vs. explicit) of social tagging. Findings/Design -- We conclude that implicit and explicit processes can be dissociated and that tags are important cues during an information search: they leave robust explicit memory representations. Research limitations/Implications -- A laboratory setting was chosen to care for conclusive findings. Our methods may have to be applied in the natural field to increase external validity. Originality/Value -- This study directly measures cognitive processes of social tagging and uses an empirical as well as experimental approach to the research questions. Take away message -- Generative Models of social tagging would benefit from incorporating a dual-process account, where formalizations of signal-detection-theory and markov-models would enable the integration of automatic and controlled processes, respectively.
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... A design recommendation of [5] is that teachers or lectors deploying ST for social learning processes should provide a sche- ma for the tagging activity and should categorize tags in a relevant way. In this paper we introduce the principles of a tag-recommendation mechanism (TRM), which is motivated by empirical studies [6,7] and built upon MINERVA 2 [3], a for- mal theory of human memory. This TRM is designed to extract prototypical tag com- binations (so called gist traces) from a user's tagging behavior and to suggest tags in a categorized and psychologically meaningful way. ...
... Cognitive-psychological studies (e.g. [1,6,7]), briefly described in the next sub-section, show that these approaches would benefit from mechanisms applying formal theories of human semantic memory. Such an extension would help to realize the suggestion of [5] to provide a categorical schema for the tagging activity during educational tasks. ...
... They put emphasis on implicit (automatic) categorization processes of a user during a tag-based inference of a resource's gist (topic) as well as during gist-based tag-assignments. By means of a multinomial model of ST [6] and [7] empirically showed that implicit categorization processes (gist-based reconstructions) are indeed in play during the generation of tags. More precisely, users retrieve an implicit gist-trace from their semantic memory to reconstruct the meaning of previously perceived tags. ...
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