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Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality The unconscious “Children perceive inaccurately, are very little conscious of their inner states.

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Presentation on theme: "Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality The unconscious “Children perceive inaccurately, are very little conscious of their inner states."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality The unconscious “Children perceive inaccurately, are very little conscious of their inner states and retain fallacious recollections of occurrences. Many adults are hardly better.” Murray (1938, p. 15)

3 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Lecture contents Pervin’s illustrative phenomena Subliminal perception Subliminal conditioning Automaticity The psychdynamic unconscious Telling more than we can know

4 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Pervin’s “illustrative phenomena” 1. Subliminal perception 2. Implicit memory 3. Dissociative phenomena 4. Blindsight 5. Hypnosis 6. Subliminal listening 7. Telling more than we know 8. Implicit conditioning 9. Automatic processing 10. Repression 11. Implicit thought

5 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality 1. Subliminal perception Drawn “nature scene” had more “ducks” after subliminal prime (Eagle et al., See also Poetzl, 1917) Self-esteem and memory tapes equally believed but not shown to be effective (Greenwald et al., 1991) Only “habitual” responses to subliminal perception.

6 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality 8. Subliminal conditioning (Diven, 1937) Participants presented with word and then told to say whatever word came to mind. Responses to the prime “Barn” (CS) were accompanied by an electric shock (US). All participants showed anxiety (GSR) to “barn”: UR  CR. Only half of the participants could identify that the word “Barn” preceded the shock. Conditioning without awareness of the Conditioned Stimulus (CS) or the CS-US (“Barn”-Shock) association. Conditioned anxiety generalised to words associated with “Barn” (e.g., “sheep”)

7 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality “8. plus 1.” (Katkin et al., 2001) Subliminal snake and spider pictures presented. Electric shock following certain pictures. Better than chance predictions of when shock would follow. Participants who were best able to detect their heartbeat predicted best. “Hunches” and “gut feelings” as ‘semi-consciously’ perceived conditioned responses to subliminally (unconsciously) perceived stimuli? See next slide.

8 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality “8. plus 1.” Weins et al. (2003): Sequencophobia! Picture-shock pairings in Katkin et al. (2001) not random. When randomised, could not be predicted better than chance. Increased prediction only at the time the shock expected. Some participants reported not consciously realising the sequence-shock link, therefore... “Hunches” still based on conditioned responses, but to certain times (trial order), not to subliminally perceived snakes and spiders.

9 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality 9. Automaticity 1 Automatic influences on impression formation See ‘priming’ from the “Perceiving Persons” lecture.  Context priming of trait terms influences interpretation of another’s behaviour (e.g., Higgins’ et al.’s 1977 adventurer) See ‘primes and prejudice (?)’ from the “Perceiving Groups” lecture.  Priming group characteristics or stereotype content elicits ‘full’ group stereotype activation (e.g., Devine, 1999) and possible use in evaluations (e.g., Lepore & Brown, 1997)

10 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality 9. Automaticity 2 Automatic influences on behaviour See ‘priming’ from the “Perceiving Persons” lecture.  Context priming of traits, stereotypes, or motives elicit trait, stereotype, or motive consistent behaviour (e.g., Bargh et al.’s 1996 rude participants) Internal (intentional) and external (automatic) sources of behavior-relevant cognitions that automatically create a tendency to engage in that behavior. Source: Bargh & Chartrand (1999)

11 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality The psychodynamic unconscious

12 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Poetzl (1917) Subliminal pictoral presentation. Dream reports next day include presented material. Later replicated with free association and perception (projection?). Evidence of unconscious processing. But a nightmare for psychoanalytic theory?

13 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Defence Mechanisms Repression, plus ‘Supplementary’ defence mechanisms:  Denial, isolation, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, sublimation, displacement.

14 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Sublimininal Psychodynamic Activation Method (SPAM) Silverman & Weinberger (1985) Subliminal mother-merge messages to alleviate anxiety and promote therapeutic progress. Silverman et al. (1978) Subliminal Oedipal conflict enhancement (alleviation) worsened (improved) performance. Patton (1992) Existing eating disorder exacerbated from subliminal mother-desertion message.

15 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality Projection: A New Account From Newman et al. (1997) Seeing in others the traits most fear and loath in self.  E.g., Mean, evil, unkind, obnoxious, lazy, selfish. Suppression protects self, but only by making the trait ‘hyper-accessible’ in unconsciousness. In turn, this leads to increased application of the trait to others. People with a repressive style attribute these traits in particular to others, from an ambiguous descriptive paragraph, but deny as self-descriptive (instead stressing their opposite characteristics).

16 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality The psychodynamic and cognitive unconscious: Differences Dynamic 1. Content focus: Motive & wishes 2. Defensive mechanisms 3. Distinctly irrational 4. Special conditions to make conscious. Cognitive 1. Content focus: Cognitions 2. No defensive mechanisms 3. Equivalent rationality 4. Usual laws of perception and memory. Possibility of a continuum of (un)consciousness

17 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality 7. Telling more than we can know Title of Nisbett & Wilson (1977). Psy. Rev., 84, Understanding of own behaviour often poor  Remember Asch, Milgram Using lay theories, not adequate introspection. How true for any given self-report measure (e.g., trait)? Need to match level of specificity  E.g., trait measures to predict a class of behaviour  E.g., attitude to a specific behaviour to predict that behaviour Even so, is recall and recognition up to the job?

18 Tom Farsides ATP PAID 5: Biological Aspects of Personality


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