Examples of Implicit Memory in Daily Life

, Staff Writer
Updated January 25, 2021
runner tie shoe laces as example implicit memory
    implicit memory tie shoe laces
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The term "implicit memory" refers to memory that does not require an explicit, or detailed recall. This type of memory is not conscious. An implicit memory example might include brushing your teeth. See more implicit memory examples that are easy to remember.

Some Implicit Memory Examples

Implicit memories are procedural memories that you recall unconsciously. These include memories like how to swing a bat or dress yourself. These are unconscious memories you don’t consciously recall but just do them. Explore more examples of implicit memory.

  • When a skilled typist is typing on a keyboard, she does not need to look at each key. Instead, she is able to type without recalling the placement of each key.
  • Once a person has learned how to ride a bike, repeated riding is implicit memory. The rider does not need to specifically recall each motion that needs to be completed.
  • Singing the ABC's is an act of implicit memory for most adults. It is not necessary to think ahead about the words to the song as it comes to the individual naturally.
  • For experienced drivers, driving a car is an example of implicit memory. The driver of the car drives without conjuring up each task that is necessary to be completed while driving.
  • For many adults, it is not necessary to read a recipe or specifically recall the steps for cooking pasta.
  • Driving to an established workplace is a part of implicit memory. After driving the same route each day, it is not necessary to map it out or read directions.
  • An adult is able to wash one's face or body without thinking of how to do so.
  • As an adult who has done so for many years, tying one's shoes is implicit.
  • An adult is able to button pants and shirts without considering the steps ahead of time.
  • As a literate adult, signing his name to a check is implicit.
  • For a seamstress, fixing a hem is implicit.
  • Brushing one's teeth is able to be completed without recalling specific steps.
  • Combing one's hair is an automatic task.
  • Looking both ways before crossing the street is a task completed without forethought for most adults.
  • Making a bed is a common task that most can complete without thinking of each step.
  • Taking a shower is able to be completed without considering various steps ahead of time.
  • Eating is executed by adults without forethought of the process.
  • Locking the door to one's house is a step that is done without recall memory.
  • Making a telephone call is a routine task completed without consulting directions.
  • Making a bowl of cereal is able to be done by most adults without thinking about the process prior to doing it.
  • For the experienced horseback rider, riding a horse is an easy task that does not require forethought.
  • Playing a familiar game, such as tag, is easy for children and directions or consideration of the process are unnecessary.
  • For adults, walking or running are able to be performed without using recall memory to remember the process.
  • For carpenters, sanding a piece of wood before priming it is an example of a task that does not require directions or recall of the steps to do it.
  • For chefs, dicing vegetables is a routine task.
  • Vacuuming, for many adults, does not necessitate directions or a recollection of how to complete the task.
  • For a gardener, weeding the garden is a task that comes naturally.

There are probably many things you do each day that rely on implicit memory; so, you can find many of your own examples of implicit memory.


Implicit vs Explicit Memory Examples

Implicit memories are procedural tasks you don’t need to consciously think about once you learn them. However, this is in direct contrast to explicit memories. Explicit memories need to be intentionally recalled and come in two forms: episodic and semantic memory.

  • episodic memory - personalized memories like your wedding
  • semantic memory - facts and names like the date of your wedding

Unlike implicit memories which become automatic, explicit memories always need to be recalled by the thinker.

Understanding Implicit Memory

Once something is mastered like learning to row a boat, it becomes automatic and you don’t need to think about the steps involved. This is implicit memory. There are a lot of examples of implicit memory like knowing how to zip your jacket for adults. Keep your knowledge of memories going by learning more about types of memories and iconic memories.