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Then A Miracle OccursFocusing on Behavior in Social Psychological Theory and Research$
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Christopher R. Agnew, Donal E. Carlston, William G. Graziano, and Janice R. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377798.001.0001

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Unconscious Behavioral Guidance Systems

Unconscious Behavioral Guidance Systems

Chapter:
(p.89) 6 Unconscious Behavioral Guidance Systems
Source:
Then A Miracle Occurs
Author(s):

John A. Bargh

Ezequiel Morsella

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377798.003.0006

In this chapter, the authors note that in the 1980s psychologists were comfortable with conscious-process accounts of behavior but not with less-conscious process accounts. However, thanks to several decades of intensive research, models of non-conscious processes are now viewed as much more theoretically and empirically tractable than was true earlier. The authors detail the evidence for four different non-conscious behavioral guidance systems: perceptual, evaluative, motivational and emotional. In each case evidence is first presented regarding basic priming or activation effects, followed by evidence that these effects actually have behavioral consequences. Consequently, the four systems provide partial accounts for phenomena discussed in Chapters 10 (affordances), 9 (attitudes), 8 (implementation intentions) and 7 (emotions). The emphasis here is on automatic processes that serve to diminish the ”role for intentional conscious causation and guidance.”

Keywords:   activation, behavior, behavioral guidance systems, conscious processes, non-conscious processes, priming, social psychology

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