Lec20- unconscious processes.docx

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Ulrich Schimmack

Unconscious Processes Conscious vs. unconscious processes  Awareness- people can be aware of motives that influence their actions  In some situations people’s behaviours/feelings influenced by factors outside their awareness  Controllability of a process- people’s ability to change their behavoiur at will  Perceptual illusions provide good illustration of our inability to control unconscious influences (i.e. inner circles illustration); perceptual system not under conscious control  **Unconscious processes operate outside of awareness or are uncontrollable. Even when we become aware of the operation of an unconscious process, awareness of the process doesn’t change the unconscious processes. Awareness of unconscious processes does allow us to modify our behaviour if we believe that the unconscious process influences our behaviour in undesirable way** Advertising- unconscious manipulation of consumers  Even if we are aware of some undesirable impulses, it doesn’t mean that it is easy to control  Branding a product adds emotional value to product by associating it with something  Buying based on superficial characteristics (unconscious reacting to buy something appealing)  If unconscious processes influence our feelings/actions, it is likely that people also vary in ways outside of their awareness and control  Thematic apperception test (TAT) people tell story about picture and content of their stories is coded for themes of power, achievement, or affiliation (example of projective tests)- low reliability The Implicit Association Test (IAT)  Created to measure unconscious processes that vary across individuals  Most widely used task for assessment of individual differences in attitudes, self-esteem, and personality traits  Essentially it is a classification task  Relies on fact that it is easier to do tasks when two categories are paired on same response key are associated in our minds Validity of IAT  Validity varies across domains  Able to capture individual differences in preferences for consumer goods and for some attitude objects studies found that IAT self-esteem scores are only weakly correlated with self-report measure of self- esteem o Self-report measures biased because people may be unable/unwilling to report their true level of self-esteem o Implici
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