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Automaticity of Everyday Life. Lectures 5 & 6: Automaticity of Everyday Life Bargh, J.A., & Chartrand, T.L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being.

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Presentation on theme: "Automaticity of Everyday Life. Lectures 5 & 6: Automaticity of Everyday Life Bargh, J.A., & Chartrand, T.L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being."— Presentation transcript:

1 Automaticity of Everyday Life

2 Lectures 5 & 6: Automaticity of Everyday Life Bargh, J.A., & Chartrand, T.L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54, Dijksterhuis, A., & Bargh, J.A. (2001). The perception-behavior expressway: Automatic effects of social perception on social behavior. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 33, Lakin, J.L., Jefferis, V.E., Cheng, C.M., & Chartrand, T.L. (2003). The chameleon effect as social glue: Evidence for the evolutionary significance of nonconscious mimicry. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, Lecture 5 – Behavioural Priming Lecture 6 – Nonconscious Mimicry

3 Varieties of Automatic Behaviour Action PrimingInterpersonal Mimicry

4 Automaticity: A Framework For Thinking About Mental Life the case of the daydreaming driver! components of mental life automatic vs. controlled processes (Bargh, 1989) 4 horsemen of automaticity awareness intention efficiency control

5 The Ecology of Automaticity So what exactly is an automatic process?So what exactly is an automatic process? Are we aware of the causes of behavior?Are we aware of the causes of behavior?Awareness 3 ways in which we may be unaware of a mental process

6 Awareness we may be unaware of the presence of a stimulus (e.g., subliminal priming).we may be unaware of the presence of a stimulus (e.g., subliminal priming). we may be unaware of the way in which a stimulus has been interpreted or categorized.we may be unaware of the way in which a stimulus has been interpreted or categorized. we may be unaware of factors (e.g., stimulus appraisal) that influence our behaviour.we may be unaware of factors (e.g., stimulus appraisal) that influence our behaviour. So what role does awareness play in the elicitation of behaviour?

7 Intentionality: the intentionality aspect of automaticity refers to how much control we have over our thoughts and behaviour. Intentionality has to do with whether we are in control of the instigation of a process.the intentionality aspect of automaticity refers to how much control we have over our thoughts and behaviour. Intentionality has to do with whether we are in control of the instigation of a process. So do intentions give rise to our everyday actions and behaviours? Might our behavior be purposive, yet unintended?

8 Efficiency: the efficiency component of automaticity refers to the extent to which a mental process demands attentional resources for its execution. To the extent that it does, it may not occur when the attentional demands of a situation are high (e.g., dual tasking) So is everyday behaviour efficient or can it be disrupted by concurrent tasks?

9 Controllability: controllability generally refers to the extent to which one is aware of the impact of a stimulus and whether one is able to counteract (i.e., control) the effect of the stimulus on ones behaviour.controllability generally refers to the extent to which one is aware of the impact of a stimulus and whether one is able to counteract (i.e., control) the effect of the stimulus on ones behaviour. So is everyday action controllable?

10 The Lights Are On: But is There Anybody Home? much of everyday life - thinking, feeling, and doing - is automatic in that it is driven by current features of the environment (i.e., people, objects, behaviors of others, settings, roles, norms, etc.) as mediated by automatic cognitive processing of those features, without any mediation by conscious choice or reflection. Bargh (1997, p. 2)

11 If-Then Conditionals the power of if-then conditionals (Anderson, 1992; Bargh, 1989)the power of if-then conditionals (Anderson, 1992; Bargh, 1989) if X (i.e., environmental feature), then Y (i.e., action)if X (i.e., environmental feature), then Y (i.e., action) red light - then - brake elderly person - then - ?

12 The Perception-Behaviour Link principle of ideomotor action (James, 1890)principle of ideomotor action (James, 1890) thinking (consciously) about an action activates the tendency to engage in the behaviour (e.g., getting out of bed).

13 Common Coding Hypothesis representing action tendencies in the mindrepresenting action tendencies in the mind common coding hypothesis (Prinz, 1990)common coding hypothesis (Prinz, 1990) ones mental representations (e.g., vanilla ice cream) contain not only related semantic information (e.g., cold, tasty), but also applicable behavioral information (e.g., eat with fudge sauce). Thus, when the representation is activated, accessible action tendencies guide ones behaviour in particular directions. So can behavior be elicited automatically?

14 Automatic Action: Some Early Evidence Do aggressive cues make people aggressive?

15 Carver et al. (1983) shocking the confederateshocking the confederate in a first study, allegedly unrelated to the critical experiment, the concept of hostility was primed for some participants. Then, in what was purportedly an unrelated experiment, participants were told to give shocks to another person (confederate) when he or she gave an incorrect answer to a question. Those primed with hostility-related words gave longer shocks to the confederate than did non- primed participants ouch! but do these effects emerge in other domains?ouch! but do these effects emerge in other domains?

16 Automatic Action: (Bargh et al., 1996) Expt 1 - Priming Trait ConstructsExpt 1 - Priming Trait Constructs Phase 1: scrambled sentence task - prime rudeness or politeness or neither construct. assertivepatient rudepolite disturbrespectful

17 Phase 2: walk down the hall to take part in an unrelated experiment, but the experimenter is talking to someone (for a maximum of 10 mins) How many participants interrupt the conversation? Rude prime=67% Polite prime=16%

18 Priming the Elderly

19 Expt 2 - Priming StereotypesExpt 2 - Priming Stereotypes Phase 1 - scrambled sentence task forgetfulawkward FloridaCalifornia bingotricky (category)(control)

20 Phase 2 - walking down the hall (40 feet)Phase 2 - walking down the hall (40 feet) time taken to make the journey elderly condition = 8.26s control condition = 7.30s Thus, elicitation of action associated with the elderly. But theres more!!!

21 Invisible Faces

22 Expt 3 - Priming Affective ResponsesExpt 3 - Priming Affective Responses color-counting task (pre-tested as boring) subliminal priming - black or white faces masking stimulus (odd/even number of circles) 130 th trial - error message appears on the screen the task must be repeated participants are videotaped

23 How did participants respond to being told that the task must be repeated? rated hostility (5-point scale) white faces =2.13 black faces =2.79

24 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Dijksterhuis & Van Knippenberg (1998)

25 The Professor and the Secretary

26 Priming Stereotypes (Expt 1)Priming Stereotypes (Expt 1) Phase 1: thought listing (5 mins) professorsecretarycontrol Phase 2: 42 Trivial Pursuit Questions Who painted La Guernica? (A) Dali, (B) Miro, (C) Picasso, or (D) Velasquez

27 Task Performance professor=59.5% secretary=46.4% control=49.9%

28 How Stupid Can You Be?

29 Strength of PrimingStrength of Priming Phase 1 - Thought Listing soccer hooligan (2 or 9 mins) control (no prime) Which country hosted the 1990 World Cup? (A) USA, (B) Mexico, (C) Spain, or (D) Italy

30 Task Performance soccer hooligan (2 mins)=48.6% soccer hooligan (9 mins)=43.1% control (no prime)=49.9% Thus, strength of the effect is moderated by the nature of the priming experience.

31 Silence in the Library: Aarts & Dijksterhuis (2003)

32 Priming Silence (Expt 1)Priming Silence (Expt 1) Phase 1: picture description task library (you will visit) – library goal prime railway platform (you will visit) – control goal prime library (you will not visit) – no-goal library prime Phase 2: Lexical Decision Task (accessibility of words related to silence) library-goal prime = 524 ms control-goal prime = 578 ms no-goal library prime = 568 ms

33 Producing Silence (Expt 2)Producing Silence (Expt 2) Phase 1: picture description task library (you will visit) – library goal prime railway platform (you will visit) – control goal prime library (you will not visit) – no-goal library prime Phase 2: Pronounce 10 words (record voice intensity dB(A)) library-goal prime = dB control-goal prime = dB no-goal library prime = dB

34 Automatic Action: Some Boundary Conditions

35 Automatic Action and Inaction lets prime kissing (who do you kiss?)lets prime kissing (who do you kiss?) architecture of cognitionarchitecture of cognition resolving conflict (Norman & Shallice, 1986) regulating automatic action leaving the movies kissing the boss inhibition

36 A Few Words From William James we have so many ideas that do not result in action. But it will be seen that in every such case, without exception, that is because other ideas present simultaneously rob them of their impulsive power. James (1890, p. 525)

37 Help, I Need Somebody: Macrae and Johnston (1998)

38 Phase 1 - Scrambled Sentence TaskPhase 1 - Scrambled Sentence Taskhelpfulnessno-prime Phase 2 - The Clumsy ExperimenterPhase 2 - The Clumsy Experimenter regular pens leaking pens did participants offer assistance?did participants offer assistance?

39 Prime HelpingControl regular pens93.7%68.7% leaking pens6.2%12.5%

40 Expt 2: On Resisting Assisting Phase 1 - Scrambled Sentence TaskPhase 1 - Scrambled Sentence Taskhelpfulnessno-prime Phase 2 - Moving To The Next ExperimentPhase 2 - Moving To The Next Experiment running on schedule 5 mins behind schedule did participants offer assistance (regular pens)?did participants offer assistance (regular pens)?

41 Prime HelpingControl on time100%75% running late12.5%12.5%

42 Summary Things Worth Knowing 1.What is automaticity? 2.Process and consequences of behavioral priming. Next Week 1. Interpersonal Mimicry


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