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The New Unconscious$
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Ran R. Hassin, James S. Uleman, and John A. Bargh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307696.001.0001

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Attitudes as Accessibility Bias: Dissociating Automatic and Controlled Processes

Attitudes as Accessibility Bias: Dissociating Automatic and Controlled Processes

Chapter:
(p.393) 15 Attitudes as Accessibility Bias: Dissociating Automatic and Controlled Processes
Source:
The New Unconscious
Author(s):

B. Keith Payne

Larry L. Jacoby

Alan J. Lambert

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307696.003.0016

This chapter highlights an important distinction that has been made in social cognition research between automatic or implicit attitudes and more controlled, explicit processes as distinct influences on judgments. It describes a process dissociation approach that treats implicit attitudes as a source of “guessing” or “accessibility bias.” The emphasis on accessibility effects builds on the “New Look” movement in perception. According to Bruner, perception involves categorization, as do other cognitive activities, and thus reflects differences in the accessibility of categories. This chapter separately measures the contributions of controlled processes and automatic processes within a task and treats a measure of accessibility bias as reflecting an automatic, implicit attitude. It identifies cognitive control with the ability to respond in a manner consistent with a goal based on appropriate information in the task at hand. The proposed approach can be used to analyze a wide range of accessibility effects of the sort that have been prominent in social psychology.

Keywords:   social cognition, process dissociation, implicit attitudes, perception, accessibility bias, guessing, controlled processes, automatic processess, cognitive control, social psychology

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