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Mechanics of Mind Control. Mind Control: Dual Processes Wegner (1994)Wegner (1994) mental control and its ironies flow from the operation of a simple.

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Presentation on theme: "Mechanics of Mind Control. Mind Control: Dual Processes Wegner (1994)Wegner (1994) mental control and its ironies flow from the operation of a simple."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mechanics of Mind Control

2 Mind Control: Dual Processes Wegner (1994)Wegner (1994) mental control and its ironies flow from the operation of a simple mechanism: the interplay of an intentional operating process and an ironic monitoring process. CyberneticsCybernetics Wiener (1948) noted that it takes 2 processes to control anything at all.

3 Is the Mind Like a Thermostat?

4 Dynamics of Control control involves changing something to a certain criterion, thus processes are needed to provide both the change and the assessment of success in reaching the criterion.control involves changing something to a certain criterion, thus processes are needed to provide both the change and the assessment of success in reaching the criterion. Miller, Galanter, & Pribram (1960) - TOTEMiller, Galanter, & Pribram (1960) - TOTE goal-directed behavior is the result of 2 processes: the operate and test mechanisms in a test-operate-test- exit (TOTE) unit - mind as a thermostat!

5 Wegners Theory of Mental Control the two processes underlying mental control are cognitive search processes that increase the accessibility of stimuli. Each process is an attentional process that orients the system toward a particular set of inputs.the two processes underlying mental control are cognitive search processes that increase the accessibility of stimuli. Each process is an attentional process that orients the system toward a particular set of inputs. the 2 processes differ with respect to their:the 2 processes differ with respect to their: (a) target search, (b) degree of consciousness (c) attentional demands, (d) conditions of activation

6 Operating Process search targetsearch target the desire for a mental state creates an operating process that seeks items consistent with that state (e.g., concentration). The desire to avoid a mental state (e.g., suppression) creates an operating process that seeks items inconsistent with that state. Thus, the operator looks for distractors in an attempt to provide mental control.

7 consciousnessconsciousness the operating process is present in consciousness. It is the subjective feeling of doing in mental life.

8 effortfulnesseffortfulness the operating process is an effortful (i.e., controlled) mental process (i.e, it demands attentional resources - Bargh, 1989; Hasher & Zacks, 1979; Posner & Snyder, 1975; Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977). As an effortful mental activity, it is vulnerable to competing task demands.

9 activationactivation The operating process is activated by the monitoring process. Whenever the monitor is satisfied that a failure of the intentional operation has been found, the operating process is implemented. Thus, the operator is a non-continuous process, it occurs cyclically in response to failure.

10 Monitoring Process search targetsearch target the monitoring process searches for indications of the failure of mental control (i.e., it searches for the unwanted thought, impulse, or memory). Thus, the monitor reviews potentially conscious material. A search attuned for failure is uncomplicated as it needs only to hold a single template against which input can be compared. disabling the monitor (Luria, 1966)disabling the monitor (Luria, 1966) frontal lobe dysfunction (Stuss & Benson, 1987)frontal lobe dysfunction (Stuss & Benson, 1987)

11 consciousnessconsciousness during mental control attempts, the monitoring process is usually not reflected in conscious thought. effortfulnesseffortfulness the monitoring process is less effortful than the operating process, thus it is less likely to be disturbed by concurrent tasks.

12 activationactivation the monitoring process is activated by the initiation of mental control. Once the intention to control the mind is implemented, the monitoring process runs continuously until the intention is relaxed.

13 Conditions of Irony intention to control must be presentintention to control must be present competition for attentional resourcescompetition for attentional resourcesalcoholstress cognitive load dual-tasks and mental controldual-tasks and mental control

14 Dont Think About? Wegner & Erber (1992)

15 Task word association taskword association task think about or dont think about housethink about or dont think about house respond with associaterespond with associatehome_______ manipulation of cognitive loadmanipulation of cognitive load time pressure or no pressure RESULTS under time pressure, suppressors responded with the forbidden item (i.e., house)

16 Rebound and Hyperaccessibility: Wegner et al. (1993) Stroop TaskStroop Task suppress or concentrate on housesuppress or concentrate on house report color of ink - housekettlereport color of ink - housekettle manipulation of cognitive loadmanipulation of cognitive load digit rehearsal or control (within subjects) RESULTS on high-load trials, suppressors showed impaired colour naming to target item (hence hyperaccessible)

17 Mood Control: Wegner et al. (1993) recall either happy or sad life eventrecall either happy or sad life event sad event (try not to be sad, no instruction, be sad) happy event (try not to be happy, no instruction, be happy) manipulation of loadmanipulation of load digit rehearsal or control (between subjects) RESULTS mood control produced ironic effects under load (trying not to be sad, made people sad)

18 While You Were Sleeping

19 Try to Sleep: Wegner et al. (1993) play cassette when you get into bedplay cassette when you get into bed narratornarrator sleep as quickly as you can sleep whenever you want rest of the tape - cognitive loadrest of the tape - cognitive load New Age music or brass band time taken to get to sleeptime taken to get to sleep

20 Sleeping Beauty

21 The Putt and the Pendulum: Wegner et al. (1998)

22 Tasks Task 1 - Chevreuls PendulumTask 1 - Chevreuls Pendulum dont move on forbidden axis digit rehearsal or control Task 2 - PuttTask 2 - Putt dont overshoot the hole digit rehearsal or control RESULTS ironic actions under conditions of load

23 Suppressing Stereotypes: Ironic Effects

24 Skinhead Studies: Macrae et al. (1994)

25 Irony Reconsidered routes to reboundroutes to rebound distractors become reminders (white bear) attentional depletion (house) construct accessibilityconstruct accessibility frequency of priming what does the monitor do? priming - another route to rebound?

26 Expt 1: Suppress Your Stereotypes Phase 1 - descriptive task - day in the life of a targetPhase 1 - descriptive task - day in the life of a target suppress stereotypes no instruction Phase 2 - day in the life of a new group memberPhase 2 - day in the life of a new group member no instruction Measure - rated stereotypicality of the passagesMeasure - rated stereotypicality of the passages

27 Stereotype Rebound

28 But What About Social Behavior?

29 Expt 2: Take a Seat Phase 1 - describe day in the life of a target (skinhead)Phase 1 - describe day in the life of a target (skinhead) suppress stereotypes no instruction Phase 2 - next study (meet the skinhead), empty lab, take a seat (7 available)Phase 2 - next study (meet the skinhead), empty lab, take a seat (7 available) Measure - social distanceMeasure - social distance

30 The Significant Buttock!

31 Stereotype Hyperaccessibility reboundrebound with and without resource depletion construct primingconstruct priming accessibility following the relaxation of suppression intention monitor in action

32 Expt 3: Press a Button Phase 1 - describe day in the life of a skinheadPhase 1 - describe day in the life of a skinhead suppress stereotypes no instruction Phase 2 - lexical decision taskPhase 2 - lexical decision task accessibility of stereotype

33 Stereotype Accessibility

34 Other Ironic Effects: Suppression is Effortful forming impression of othersforming impression of others categorical plus individuating material individuation is effortful (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990) suppression is effortful (Wegner, 1994) suppressing stereotypessuppressing stereotypes which information is remembered

35 Form an Impression: Macrae et al. (1996) form impression of skinhead (audiotaped description)form impression of skinhead (audiotaped description) suppress stereotype no instruction stereotypic content - high, low, none probe-reaction task (turn off the light)probe-reaction task (turn off the light) multiple-choice test about target

36 Probe Performance

37 Target Knowledge

38 Expt 2: Suppression and Memory form impression of elderly man (videotape)form impression of elderly man (videotape) suppress stereotype no instruction material - stereotypic and neutral memory tested after delay of 7 daysmemory tested after delay of 7 days

39 Target Recollections

40 Issues: Moderating Influences on Stereotype Suppression perceiver characteristicsperceiver characteristics prejudice level (Monteith et al. 1997) nature of the stereotype (Monteith et al. 1997)nature of the stereotype (Monteith et al. 1997) race/gender/sexual orientation vs. skinheads motivation (Plant & Devine, 1997)motivation (Plant & Devine, 1997) practice (Wegner, 1994)practice (Wegner, 1994)

41 Things Worth Knowing 1.Wegners (1994) model of mental control. 2.The nature of post-suppression rebound effects.


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