Automaticity 1 and 2

Automaticity 1 and 2 - Automaticity We are the robots We...

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Automaticity We are the robots We are the robots We're functioning  automatic And we are dancing  mechanic  -- Kraftwerk
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The Dominant View of Human Nature Thinking is a deliberate, conscious  process Behavior is a product of conscious  reasoning We are in control of our behavior  We are aware of the causes of our  actions Assumed by: Descartes, philosophy in  general, most of social science, lay  people This guy  again?
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The Dominant View of Human Nature But what if this view is wrong? What if much of behavior is  created by factors which are  outside of our awareness? What if we only think we’re in  control? What if we don’t know the reasons  for most of our behavior?
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(Non)awareness “Telling more than we can know”  (Nisbett and Wilson 1977) Reacting to common assumption that  you can ask people why they behaved  the way they did (self-reports) Common in interviews, focus groups,  many surveys and experiments   Common in media research (focus  groups, surveys)
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(Non)awareness N&W review a huge literature showing that  people have little insight into the causes of  their behavior People always have reasons, usually rational,  defensible ones But they’re often, even usually, the wrong reasons Remember this the next time you get in an argument  about something someone did People have limited insight into the true causes of  their behavior Finding: if you want to understand human  behavior, you can’t just ask somebody
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(Non)awareness – “Thin Slices” How unaware are we? Is it possible that others know us better than we  know ourselves? Sometimes, on some dimensions, yes “Thin Slices” experimental paradigm People are surprisingly good at perceiving others’  personality characteristics via “thin slices” of behavior Predicting teacher eval’s from 30 sec silent clip Then 15 sec, then 6 sec Predicting altruism, IQ from 10 sec silent clip Gosling’s “Room with a cue,”  Snoop In some cases (extroversion, IQ), people can rate  targets more accurately from a thin slice than the  targets themselves Sam  Gosling
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What is Automaticity? Automaticity: Perspective that most  human behavior results from  automatic, nonconscious factors that  operate outside of awareness   Key factors Automatic (not controlled) Nonconscious Unaware Effortless John  Bargh
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Bargh, Chen, and Burrows (1996) Explored the various effects of “priming” Priming: making a concept active in a person’s mind In this case, subliminal priming Making a concept active outside of a person’s  awareness
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