Automaticity

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Author:
camturnbull
ID:
300808
Filename:
Automaticity
Updated:
2015-04-14 16:53:22
Tags:
Social Psychology
Folders:
Psychology,Social Psychology
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  1. How do automatic thoughts and behaviours guide our actions?
    • They occur outside of our awareness and control, occur unintentionally and are efficient in their use of attentional resources 
    • These thoughts do not entirely control our cognitions and behaviour, they are an interaction between these and conscious thoughts 
    • I.e swerving automatically to avoid a car that appears when navigating your way around town
  2. What is preconscious automaticity?
    • The process in which sensory or perceptual stimuli effortlessly trigger the mental or physiological processes that shape subsequent interpretations or categorisation of events 
    • This was demonstrated by Hansen & Hansen (1988) who showed participants faces in crowds and asked them to spot the one doing a different facial expression 
    • People were significantly better at spotting angry faces than neutral ones
  3. What is post conscious automaticity?
    • The conscious attention paid to stimuli that alters subsequent thoughts and behaviour 
    • P's given a free gift in a shopping mall setting 
    • This improved their mood and the evaluation of performance and service record of products they owned (Isen et al, 1978)
  4. What is goal dependent automaticity?
    • Accessibility of concepts depends on processing goals 
    • The state we are in and our desires influence our ability to process things 
    • P's shown words on a screen and asked to answer 'me' or 'not me' if they word applied to them or not 
    • People rated as more positive had more positive concepts become active than those who were depressed (they had negative ones)
  5. What is embodiment?
    • The assumption that all thoughts and feeling are grounded in sensory experiences and bodily states
    • Mental processes involve simulations of body related perceptions
    • Could be because we are evolved from animals that devoted all resources to perception and motor skills so higher cognitive functions could still use systems employed by our ancestors
    • Holding heavy objects made job candidates appear more important, rough things made social interactions seem more difficult and hard objects reduced negotiation flexibility (Ackerman et al, 2010)
    • Scores of loneliness correlated with taking more hot baths and showers and physical coldness increased ratings of loneliness (Bargh & Shalev, 2011)
  6. What is non-conscious emotion regulation?
    • The unintentional and automatic control of one's exposure to, processing of and response to emotionally evocative events (Bargh & Williams, 2007)
    • P's primed with either neutral or reappraisal goal concepts using a scrambled sentence task (words related to reappraisal appeared such as 'reassessed')
    • Found that instructing participants to reappraise a stressful task as a challenge was as effective as priming them with the concepts of 'transformation and change' 
    • Shows that non-conscious prompts to reappraise one's emotional situation can reduce reactivity to emotionally evocative events
  7. What is unconscious thought theory?
    • Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006
    • Unconscious deliberation of evolutionarily relevant decisions (such as morality) appears to be more effective than conscious thought 
    • P's asked to make decisions based on simple principles such as fairness and were either distracted or left to ruminate
    • Those in the distracted condition made better decisions
  8. What are the factors that moderate the influence of situational cues on thought and behaviour?
    • Some people are more self conscious than others 
    • Ones preparation to interact (Cesario et al, 2009): people primed with anti gay sentiment showed more signs of aggression and those primed with pro elderly themes walked more slowly and acted like them 
    • The salience of the prime, something more relevant to everyday life and survival advantage would be more likely to unconsciously prime behaviour 
    • Competing goals
    • Being aware of the prime drastically reduces its effectiveness 
    • Environmental constraints (physically can't act a certain way)
  9. How does conscious causation affect everyday life?
    • Baumeister, Mascicampo, & Vohs, 2011
    • When people consciously imagine future actions they are more likely to carry them out 
    • Mentally practicing difficult actions improves performance 
    • Making specific plans improves likelihood and efficacy of behaviour
    • Reinterpreting events influences how one responds to them
    • Taking others’ perspective and empathising
    • Altering views of the self can alter subsequent behaviour

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