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PS101 Lecture - Implicit (Automatic) and Explicit (Controlled) Processes - October 28 2011.docx

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Iuliana Baciu

th PS101 Lecture – Implicit (Automatic) and Explicit (Controlled) Processes – Friday, October 28 2011: Attitudes:  evaluations, judgements, thoughts about a particular category or reality  positive or negative Social Attitudes:  one’s overall evaluations of a particular social category Components of Attitudes:  Cognitive – beliefs about a category (object, social group etc.)  Affective – emotional feelings stimulated by this category  Behavioural – predisposition to act in a certain way towards this category Automaticity and Control:  Traditionally, automaticity is defined by a set of features such as independence of awareness, independence of intention, high efficiency, and little opportunity to inhibit the automatic process voluntarily (Bargh, 1994)  Practiced skills – become automatic = memory-based automaticity, instance learning Automatic Attitudes:  Implicit attitudes – introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) traces of past experiences that mediate favourable or unfavourable feeling, thought or action toward social objects (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995)  = unconscious, uncontrollable, automatic (unintentional) and efficient  = based on gut feeling rather than on rational thinking Controlled Processes:  Explicit attitudes = evaluations based on conscious, controllable, intentional and effortful thought (Bargh, 1994)  Presumably “any skill, be it perceptual, motor, or cognitive, requires less and less conscious attention the more frequently and consistently it is engaged” (Bargh, 1997, p. 28)  = any skill can become automatic  What happens to the underlying computations and representations when a complex social-cognitive skill becomes automatic?  some theories of automatization (e.g., Logan, 1988) suggest that rule-based, algorithmic processes (the base of explicit attitudes) may be substituted by one-step retrieval from associative memory (efficiency of implicit attitudes)  the outcome of a specific rule application is directly retrieved from memory, thus making a deliberate application of the rule obsolete  A resource-limited process is responsible for coordinated response selection in non-automatic responding  With consistent practice the respective stimulus–response associations are permanently stored in long-term memory  As a result, merely perceiving a relevant stimulus immediately activates the response (Schneider & Chein, 2003)  Without practice, general, but slow algorithms, solve cognitive tasks  What kind of processes may be responsible for inefficiency with unpracticed skills?  Theories of control suggest that there may be a limited number of basic control functions, which are inherently inefficient  These controlled functions are:  the assembly of new, unlearned sequences of behavior and planning (e.g., Bargh, 2004; Miller & Cohen, 2001);  abstract, relational reasoning and the active maintenance of multiple representations (Hummel & Holyoak, 2003; O’Reilly, Braver, & Cohen, 1999);  the regulation of response conflicts (e.g., Amodio et al., 2004; Botvinick, Braver, Barch, Carter, & Cohen, 2001);
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