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The Implicit MindCognitive Architecture, the Self, and Ethics$
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Michael Brownstein

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633721

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190633721.001.0001

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The Habit Stance

The Habit Stance

(p.177) 7 The Habit Stance
The Implicit Mind

Michael Brownstein

Oxford University Press

While it is clear that implicit attitudes are malleable, there is much to learn about the most effective techniques for changing them. This chapter examines three general approaches that increasingly appear to be well supported in both lab-based and field studies. The chapter considers the importance of rote practice, pre-commitment, and context regulation. Each represents a different element of adopting the “habit stance,” a way of cultivating more ethical implicit attitudes—and hence better spontaneous decisions and actions—by treating them as if they were habits. The chapter concludes by considering two kinds of objections. The first is empirical, focusing on the broadness and durability of implicit attitude change interventions. The second is not empirical. It is about the nature of praise, in particular whether the reshaping of one’s attitudes and behavior in the ways the chapter describes counts as a genuine form of ethical self-improvement.

Keywords:   intentional stance, design stance, physical stance, attitude change, self-regulation, skill, contact hypothesis, counterstereotype training, pre-commitment, implementation intentions

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