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Implicit Attitudes: Computational Thought By: Heather B. Roy.

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1 Implicit Attitudes: Computational Thought By: Heather B. Roy

2 The Brain: Computation Highway According to Baum, “the brain does vast computations of which we are unaware in order to compute semantically meaningful quantities,” (p.5).

3 Thought = Mental Models Human thought isn’t a random process but rather an orchestrated progression through algorithms – thus thought has been said to be computational Our mental models, which are higher mental processes formulated in the brain, serve to aid us in the progression through our daily lives Example of a higher mental process: implicit attitudes

4 Implicit Attitudes An attitude is a positive or negative evaluation of some object An implicit attitude, however, is an attitude that is unconsciously expressed Measured indirectly Indirect measures are often seen as an advantage in studying implicit attitudes, most especially beliefs that are less socially acceptable and are harder to admit to more directly (i. e. stereotypes) (Karpinski & Hilton, 2001).

5 IAT: Implicit Association Test The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a social psychology methodology designed to measure the strength of association between mental models of objects in memory. The IAT requires the rapid categorization of various stimulus objects, such that easier pairings are interpreted as being more strongly associated in memory than more difficult pairings.

6 IAT: Computational Process? The IAT suggests that many cognitive processes that affect behavior are unconscious in nature and are inaccessible to observation by the actor As previously stated..., “the brain does vast computations of which we are unaware in order to compute semantically meaningful quantities,” (Baum, p.5).

7 The necessity for implicit association tests over explicit, self-report measures such as questionnaires and surveys has been well established. The reason for this is obvious; that, explicit (self- report) measures afford, much more readily, the possibility of giving socially acceptable responses (Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2002).

8 References Baum, Eric B. What Is Thought? Cambridge: The MIT Press, Karpinski, A. & Hilton, J. L. (2001). Attitudes and the implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81: Nosek, B. A., Banaji, M. R., & Greenwald, A. G. (2002). Math = male, me = female, therefore math [not equal to] me. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, Project Implicit (2005). Implicit association test. Retrieved Mar from

9 A little applied fun... Implicit Association Test


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