Presentation on theme: "The Challenge of Distinguishing Between Non- Conscious Processes and Processes that are Experienced in the Absence of Meta-Awareness Jonathan W. Schooler."— Presentation transcript:
The Challenge of Distinguishing Between Non- Conscious Processes and Processes that are Experienced in the Absence of Meta-Awareness Jonathan W. Schooler University of British Columbia
Two Challenging Examples for the Conscious/ Non- conscious Distinction –Scratching a mosquito bite –Mind-wandering during reading –Critical question What is the state of consciousness prior to “catching yourself” Not exactly non-conscious Distinct hedonic state è Pleasure of scratching è Pleasure of the contents of mind wandering Distinct conscious content è Content of the mind wandering Not exactly conscious Fundamentally unaware of what you are doing è You are making the bite worse è You are not paying attention to what you are reading
Three Levels of Consciousness – Non-conscious- Information that is entirely outside of awareness – Experiential conscious - The contents of consciousness – Meta-awareness- Ones explicit understanding of their conscious experience.
Dissociations of Meta-awareness –Temporal Dissociation- Experience in the absence of meta-awareness occur when an individual temporarily fails to explicitly appraise the current contents of experience –Translation Dissociations Meta-awareness misrepresent the contents of experience Occur when, in the process or re-representing consciousness, individuals embellish, distort, or neglect aspects of their experience
Temporal dissociations in meta-awareness of unwanted emotional thoughts (Fishman & Schooler, 2005) –Participants were asked to recall a past romantic relationship that had ended (Wegner & Gold, 1996) –Were then instructed to try not to think about that person for the remainder of the experiment Study was divided into 4 parts; 3 reading parts and 1 sitting quietly condition All subjects were asked to press a button each time they thought about their previous partner Half of the subjects were probed about every 40 seconds Completed reading comprehension task
Sample slide In 1994, the United States Federal Highway Administration funded a consortium of companies and universities to research and develop automated highway systems (AHS). If carried to completion, an AHS would enable vehicles to travel on limited access highways under full automation. This paper reports on a study completed as part of the FHWA's Precursor Systems Analyses (PSA) program, to assess costs and benefits of AHS. The paper presents the framework for the evaluation of alternative AHS deployment concepts, with respect to life- cycle costs and cost effectiveness. This framework was applied to a range of scenarios on both a highway and national basis. Specific features include: 1 phased approach to AHS deployment, 2 original cost estimates for both the vehicle and infrastructure, under a range of operating scenarios, and 3 extrapolation of results to a national scale, to account for market penetrations and scale economies. Just now, were you thinking about your previous relationship partner? If so, please press y for yes. Otherwise, press n for no.
Relationship between form of catching and nature of the relationship
Conclusions of investigation of unwanted emotional thoughts –High frequency of probe-caught thoughts suggests temporal dissociations of meta-awareness people regularly lacked meta-awareness of unwanted emotional thoughts –Uniquely significant correlation between probe caught unwanted emotional thoughts and comprehension Validates self-reports Suggests comprehension disruptions result from lack of meta-awareness –Unique correlation between probe caught mind-wandering and desire to be in relationship Opposite to what was observed w/ self caught here and in Wegner & Gold observed. Suggests defense mechanism of failing to notice unwanted thoughts when they are aversive.
Translation Dissociations –Empirical approach Identify psycho-physiological signature of experience Examine the impact of a manipulation that might be expected to reduce individuals’ meta-awareness of experience on the correspondence between self-reports and the physiological measure Translation dissociation Implicated if an established relationship between a psychophysiological measure and self-report is undermined
Finding a manipulation that might reduce meta- awareness of experience –Analyzing Reasons When individuals analyze why they feel the way they do about an attitude object it disrupts their ability to appraise it Reduced correlation with expert judgments (Wilson & Schooler, 1991) Reduced post-choice satisfaction (Wilson, Lisle, Schooler, Hodges, Klaaren, & Lafleur; 1993). –Analyzing reasons may cause people to temporarily “lose touch” with their feelings
Establishing a Psychophysiological Signature of Hedonic Experience ( Handy, Smilek, Liu, Leghari, Turk, & Schooler, unpublished) –Basic question Is it possible to use ERP to distinguish hedonic experience associated with liked vs disliked logos? –Procedure Participants repeatedly viewed 25 logos w/ no instructions other then to make a manual response when the logo appeared.
Establishing a Psychophysiological Signature of Hedonic Experience ( Handy, Smilek, Liu, Leghari, Turk, & Schooler, unpublished) –Basic question Is it possible to use ERP to distinguish hedonic experience associated with liked vs disliked logos? –Procedure Participants repeatedly viewed 25 logos w/ no instructions other then to make a manual response when the logo appeared. ERP activity at 24 sites (12 critical) was measured
Establishing a Psychophysiological Signature of Hedonic Experience ( Handy, Smilek, Liu, Leghari, Turk, & Schooler, unpublished) –Basic question Is it possible to use ERP to distinguish hedonic experience associated with liked vs disliked logos? –Procedure Participants repeatedly viewed 25 logos w/ no instructions other then to make a manual response when the logo appeared. ERP activity at 16 critical sites was measured Rating task- Participants showed each logo and asked to rate each logo on a 7 point scale ERP response for 3 most and 3 least liked images was evaluated
Results & Implications –Primary Result Significant difference in N200 response for liked vs disliked logos at the central and parietal sites This relationship was observed even though ERP measurements were taken prior to requests to explicitly evaluate the logos –Implication ERP provides a proxy for non-reflective hedonic experience
Impact of analyzing reasons on ERP hedonic responses –Does analyzing reasons cause participants to “lose touch” with their hedonic response? –Procedure Participants viewed 25 posters while measuring ERP Analyzed reasons for preferences or introspected about university life “I would like you to write for 10 minutes about what qualities in general you like and dislike in posters. For example, what characteristics would make a paragraph poster appealing or unappealing to you. Try and write for a full 10 minutes. Your answer can be in point form or paragraph form” Write about why you like or dislike UBC Rated posters Examined ERP response for 3 most and 3 least liked posters
Introspect on “University” N = 16 “Like” “Dislike” Frontal N1 Frontal N2 Frontal P2
Introspect on “posters” N = 16 “Like” “Dislike” Frontal N1 Frontal N2 Frontal P2
Results and Implications –Primary results In the Introspect University condition participants showed an increased n200 response in both the Frontal and Central sites In Introspect Posters condition, there were no significant differences in erp responses for liked vs disliked posters Significant interaction between conditions –Implications Replicated Logos study in the Introspect University condition Though now effect observed in more frontal areas perhaps reflecting greater complexity of stimuli Absence of any relationship between erp response and evaluation following poster introspection consistent with hypothesis that reflection produced a translation dissociation in which individuals “lost touch” with their immediate affective reaction. Future research required to examine erp response post introspection
Summary –Introduced a rudimentary classification of consciousness Three Levels of Consciousness Non-conscious, Experiential Consciousness, Meta-awareness Meta-awareness is the intermittent explicit re-representation of consciousness –Explored two types of dissociations between experience and meta-awareness Temporal dissociations - consciousness in the absence of meta-awareness Unwanted thoughts during reading è People regularly fail to notice unwanted thoughts è Unnoticed unwanted thoughts particularly predictive of »comprehension deficits »degree to which individuals still wish they were with their partner Translation dissociations - Meta-awareness misrepresents experience ERP and Hedonic response è ERP taken while viewing visual material predictive of subsequent evaluative response. è But not when individuals engage in reflection è Suggests reflection may cause a translation dissociation in which they “lose touch” with their initial non-reflective hedonic response –Take home message There is a very big difference between having an experience and knowing what experience you are having