What Is the Difference Between Declarative Knowledge and Procedural Knowledge?

The difference between declarative and procedural knowledge is that the former refers to unchanging, factual information and the latter refers to the collective thought processes that define how things are done, according to Education.com. Known facts such as names assigned to numbers and plants are examples of declarative knowledge. The learned set of complex tasks used to drive a car is an example of procedural knowledge.

Self-regulatory knowledge is a third category of acquired information stored in the long-term memory. This involves recognition of personal tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, learning abilities and the organizational skills to evaluate and plan the most appropriate learning program. Self-regulatory knowledge provides direction and helps individuals to focus their learning and expand their total knowledge to develop expertise in a specific field or to adapt learning for general application.

According to Simply Psychology, research involving studies of amnesia demonstrate a distinct differentiation between declarative and procedural knowledge. Patients suffering from memory loss show impairment in current recall and retention of factual information, but they retain memories of learned skills and are capable of learning new how-to skill sets. Procedural knowledge, which is used without thought or awareness, is shown to be more enduring than declarative knowledge, which is consciously retrieved from memory.