Are we just robots?
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What is automaticity?
Actions undertaken without conscious thought such as reflexes and homeostasis
What are social norms?
- Cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions)which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and what others think that they should do Cialdini (2003)
- Informal understandings that govern how we behave in society
Are norms automatic?
- Yes-Langer et al (1978)
- Tried to cut into the queue for the copy machine
- Either asked to use the xerox machine or asked to use the xerox machine to make copies
- Just asking had 50% success rate, 80% for the second option
- People were more likely to automatically follow social norms in the second case
- Reciprocity, if you are given something you automatically think you need to give something back (Derren brown, russian mob)
What is priming?
- Exposure to one stimulus affects your response to those following it
- Meyer and Schvaneveldt (1971)- p's asked whether something is a word, faster to say yes to 'doctor' if 'nurse' appeared a few seconds before
- Balcetis & Dale (2007)- p's read either a paragraph about Henry Ford or astronauts and judged the appropriateness of a number of photos for a kids book, one of which was a picture of a sunset with the back of a road sign in the foreground
- In their evaluations 50% of the participants focussed on the road sigh and only 8% of the control
How does priming relate to automaticity?
- Srull & Wyer (1979)- p's read a story about 'Donald' and it involves him slamming a door
- Primed using supraliminal random words in a sorting task or subliminal messages about aggression
- People rated him as more aggressive when primed
- Bargh & Pietromonaco (1982)- p's given word unscrambling task (make a sentence), experimenter asked them to leave and timed how long it took them to leave
- P's primed with words related to old people took 2 seconds longer to get to the end of the corridor
- Also used squares and circles (press a button for even and odd numbers) followed by an error message after an hour of this tedium
- Their reactions were recorded and the amount of aggression was rated by negativity in their face and the hostility displayed
- When primed with subliminally presented pictures of african american faces (study was in New York), the responses were more aggressive
Can priming make us smarter?
- Didksterhuis & van Knippenberg (1998)
- P's asked to write an essay about the lifestyle, appearance, behaviour and attributes about the average football hooligan, a secretary of professor for 2 or 9 minutes followed by a general knowledge quiz
- More likely to get questions right when previously thinking about a professor
Can we be primed physically?
- Williams & Bargh (2008)
- Hold warm or cold tea and asked to make judgments about people, warmer drinks yielded warmer judgments
- Plotting two points closer together makes you rate yourself as being closer to your family
- Schnall et al (2008)
- Washing hands makes people make more moralistic and strict judgements
What is implicit egotism?
- People tend to favour letters in their name over other letters in the alphabet
- People tend to favour things reminding them of themselves as they unconsciously rate themselves positively
- Nuttin (1985)
- Could be familiarity effect as we write them first and most commonly
What is the mere exposure effect?
- We rate things more positively if we are more familiar with them
- Zajonc (1968)
- Upon the recitation of unfamiliar Turkish words, it was found that the ones that participants were exposed to the most were the ones that participants rated most positively when asked to guess how positive or negative it was
- Pelham et al (2002) More dentists in denver, career choices are influenced fractionally
- Neilson & Simmons (2007), Allens get more As
What is the replicability crisis?
- If the findings from an experiment cannot be replicated the findings are brought into question
- E.g. Bargh, Chen & Burrows (1996) were challenged by Doyen et al (2011)
- This is the whetstone that sharpens the blade of our glorious science
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