Chapter 2: Automaticity and Control.
Control: regulation of behavior according to our goals.
The unconscious nature of naive realism:
- Fazio and Rosko. 1992. selective focus of attention. 2 tasks: participants were more
likely to remember objects they liked best. preferences unknowingly guide the process of
- focus on perceptual/cognitive processes serving as the building blocks of impression
- implicit process: automatic if it has these features: unintended + impossible to control +
extremely efficient + able to proceed without our awareness.
- perceiver lacks any consciousness that the mental processes exist.
Implicit communication and perception via verbal cues:
- hand gestures
- forming impressions of people we have never met -> zero acquaintance
Body language, facial expression, and nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal signs are produced quite spontaneously.
Ability to control one’s facial expression
- EG: AlGore non verbal cues during the presidential debate --> appeared superior and
Lack of awareness that a nonverbal communicative exchange is occurring.
- nonverbal communication; hand gestures.
Gestures as Nonverbal cues: nonsemantic information.
- Chawla and Krauss research. 1994.
- tell difference between spontaneous and rehearsed speech
- having audio alone or video alone was fairly comparable.
- people with BOTH audio and video did way better --> accuracy 80% of the time.
- troubles with lexical access are signs of spontaneity.
- nonsemantic information: a feeling the person is having trouble producing in speech.
Thin slices of behavior.
- halo effect: when one variable unknowingly influence people’s impressions of a person
along a different variable.
- “what is beautiful is good” stereotype.
- Ambady and Rosenthal. 1993. nonverbal cues + ratings of the teacher correlated
with physical attractiveness --> the more attractive the teacher, the better the
evaluation made by the student.
- very brief observations of nonverbal behavior ranging from 1 to 30 seconds as thin slices
- nonverbal cues are communicated without the communicator’s awareness to make
important evaluations of the other person.
- can sexual orientation be perceived from brief exposition to nonverbal cues?
1 - accuracy was greater in the 10 second video than in 1 second clip.
- Albright, Kenny, and Malloy. 1988. different perceivers have similar reactions to a
- means that much of the information communicated in person perception is implied
by the features of the target, as opposed to by the subjective inference of the
- Gibson and McArthur --> ecological approach to person perception: certain elements of
the environment are attention grabbing --> adaptive value for the individual.
The baby face
- MacArthur and Apatow. 1983. facial features with babyish features would trigger a
specific type of reaction.
- as babiness of the features increased, associated strength of character/dominance
decreased. they were also seen as warmer and more honest.
- these people could fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy effect by behaving the way it is
expected from them.
- but they could also rebel against this stereotype and become the opposite.
- delinquency and baby faces - Zebrowitz and colleagues. 1998.
- baby faced boys were more likely to be delinquent than mature faced boys only if
from low SES.
- baby faced boys were charged with more crimes between ages of 17-25.
Detecting and expressing emotions.
- emotional expressiveness in the face is biologically derived.
- Eg: baring our teeth.
Universal Expression of emotions.
- Darwin. Anger, happiness, sadness, are innate. cross-species similarities.
- New Guinea experiment - not learned via media.
Failure to control emotional responsiveness.
- deception is a part of social life.
- deception can be revealed by nonverbal communication.
- the more important a lie becomes, the less able to conceal their nonverbal cues -->
How does a process become automatic? Through practice, repetition, and habit.
- James’ definition of a habit.
- automatic processes as mental habits.
- 1970s: automaticity = one’s lack of control over a process .
Elements of automaticity.
- Barhg. 1994. 4 elements: lack of conscious intent, efficiency, lack of awareness, lack of
Lack of conscious intent
- subliminal prime affects emotions.
- trying to conceal emotions, our body language unintentionally still betrays the emotions
2 we are trying to conceal despite our best efforts.
- Stroop. 1935. name the ink color. calls for ignoring word meaning. interference -->
Stroop effect. detecting word meaning happens without intent, and interferes with other
intentional processes. Instead of naming the color of the ink, people are sidetracked by
the word on the screen, even more so when word is self-relevant.
- perception persists despite being engaged in demanding mental tasks.
- under cognitive load, people who have to process informa