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									Automaticity of Everyday Life
                  Lectures 5 & 6:
             Automaticity of Everyday Life
Bargh, J.A., & Chartrand, T.L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of
being. American Psychologist, 54, 462-479.

Dijksterhuis, A., & Bargh, J.A. (2001). The perception-behavior
expressway: Automatic effects of social perception on social behavior.
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 1-40.

Lakin, J.L., Jefferis, V.E., Cheng, C.M., & Chartrand, T.L. (2003). The
chameleon effect as social glue: Evidence for the evolutionary significance
of nonconscious mimicry. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 145-162.



Lecture 5 – Behavioural Priming

Lecture 6 – Nonconscious Mimicry
    Varieties of Automatic Behaviour




Action Priming             Interpersonal Mimicry
                   Automaticity:
      A Framework For Thinking About Mental Life

• the case of the daydreaming driver!

• components of mental life
      automatic vs. controlled processes (Bargh, 1989)

• 4 „horsemen‟ of automaticity
       awareness
       intention
       efficiency
       control
                 The Ecology of Automaticity



• So what exactly is an automatic process?

• Are we aware of the causes of behavior?




Awareness

3 ways in which we may be unaware of a mental process
                              Awareness


• we may be unaware of the presence of a stimulus (e.g., subliminal
  priming).

• we may be unaware of the way in which a stimulus has been
  interpreted or categorized.

• we may be unaware of factors (e.g., stimulus appraisal) that influence
  our behaviour.



So what role does awareness play in the elicitation of behaviour?
                           Intentionality:


• the intentionality aspect of automaticity refers to how much control we
  have over our thoughts and behaviour. Intentionality has to do with
  whether we are in control of the instigation of a process.

So do intentions give rise to our everyday actions and behaviours? Might
   our behavior be purposive, yet unintended?
                              Efficiency:




• the efficiency component of automaticity refers to the extent to which
  a mental process demands attentional resources for its execution. To
  the extent that it does, it may not occur when the attentional demands
  of a situation are high (e.g., dual tasking)

So is everyday behaviour efficient or can it be disrupted by concurrent
   tasks?
                           Controllability:


• controllability generally refers to the extent to which one is aware of
  the impact of a stimulus and whether one is able to counteract (i.e.,
  control) the effect of the stimulus on one‟s behaviour.



                    So is everyday action controllable?
                         The Lights Are On:
                    But is There Anybody Home?

“much of everyday life - thinking, feeling, and doing - is automatic in that it
is driven by current features of the environment (i.e., people, objects,
behaviors of others, settings, roles, norms, etc.) as mediated by automatic
cognitive processing of those features, without any mediation by conscious
choice or reflection.”
                                                      Bargh (1997, p. 2)
                        If-Then Conditionals



• the power of if-then conditionals (Anderson, 1992; Bargh, 1989)

• if X (i.e., environmental feature), then Y (i.e., action)
        red light - then - brake
        elderly person - then - ?
                The Perception-Behaviour Link



• principle of ideomotor action (James, 1890)

   thinking (consciously) about an action activates the tendency to engage
   in the behaviour (e.g., getting out of bed).
                  Common Coding Hypothesis


• representing action tendencies in the mind

• common coding hypothesis (Prinz, 1990)
  one‟s mental representations (e.g., vanilla ice cream) contain not only
  related semantic information (e.g., cold, tasty), but also applicable
  behavioral information (e.g., eat with fudge sauce). Thus, when the
  representation is activated, accessible action tendencies guide one‟s
  behaviour in particular directions.


So can behavior be elicited automatically?
        Automatic Action:
       Some Early Evidence



Do aggressive cues make people aggressive?
                        Carver et al. (1983)


• „shocking‟ the confederate
       in a first study, allegedly unrelated to the critical
       experiment, the concept of hostility was primed for some
       participants. Then, in what was purportedly an unrelated
       experiment, participants were told to give shocks to another
       person (confederate) when he or she gave an incorrect
       answer to a question. Those primed with hostility-related
       words gave longer shocks to the confederate than did non-
       primed participants

• ouch! but do these effects emerge in other domains?
                       Automatic Action:
                       (Bargh et al., 1996)

• Expt 1 - Priming Trait Constructs

  Phase 1: scrambled sentence task - prime „rudeness‟ or „politeness‟ or
  neither construct.

                assertive         patient
                rude              polite
                disturb           respectful
Phase 2: walk down the hall to take part in an
unrelated experiment, but the experimenter is
talking to someone (for a maximum of 10 mins)

   How many participants interrupt the conversation?

                         Rude prime        =       67%
                         Polite prime      =       16%
Priming the Elderly
• Expt 2 - Priming Stereotypes

       Phase 1 - scrambled sentence task

               forgetfulawkward
               Florida         California
               bingo           tricky
               (category)      (control)
• Phase 2 - walking down the hall (40 feet)

        time taken to make the journey

        elderly condition = 8.26s
        control condition = 7.30s

   Thus, elicitation of action associated with the elderly. But there‟s
   more!!!
Invisible Faces
• Expt 3 - Priming Affective Responses

        color-counting task (pre-tested as boring)
        subliminal priming - black or white faces
        masking stimulus (odd/even number of circles)
        130th trial - error message appears on the screen
        the task must be repeated
        participants are videotaped
How did participants respond to being told that the task
must be repeated?

           rated hostility (5-point scale)

           white faces = 2.13
           black faces = 2.79
    Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Dijksterhuis & Van Knippenberg (1998)
The Professor and the Secretary
• Priming Stereotypes (Expt 1)

       Phase 1: thought listing (5 mins)
               professor
               secretary
               control

       Phase 2: 42 Trivial Pursuit Questions
               Who painted La Guernica?
               (A) Dali, (B) Miro, (C) Picasso, or (D) Velasquez
Task Performance

       professor   =   59.5%
       secretary   =   46.4%
       control     =   49.9%
How Stupid Can You Be?
• Strength of Priming

       Phase 1 - Thought Listing
               soccer hooligan (2 or 9 mins)
               control (no prime)

       Which country hosted the 1990 World Cup?

       (A) USA, (B) Mexico, (C) Spain, or (D) Italy
Task Performance

       soccer hooligan (2 mins) =           48.6%
       soccer hooligan (9 mins) =           43.1%
       control (no prime)       =           49.9%

  Thus, strength of the effect is moderated by the nature of the priming
  experience.
  Silence in the Library:
Aarts & Dijksterhuis (2003)
• Priming Silence (Expt 1)

       Phase 1: picture description task
               library (you will visit) – „library goal‟ prime
               railway platform (you will visit) – „control goal‟ prime
               library (you will not visit) – „no-goal library‟ prime

       Phase 2: Lexical Decision Task (accessibility of words related to silence)

                library-goal prime = 524 ms
                control-goal prime = 578 ms
                no-goal library prime = 568 ms
• Producing Silence (Expt 2)

       Phase 1: picture description task
               library (you will visit) – „library goal‟ prime
               railway platform (you will visit) – „control goal‟ prime
               library (you will not visit) – „no-goal library‟ prime

       Phase 2: Pronounce 10 words (record voice intensity dB(A))

                library-goal prime = 83.16 dB
                control-goal prime = 84.48 dB
                no-goal library prime = 84.62 dB
   Automatic Action:
Some Boundary Conditions
                Automatic Action and Inaction


• lets „prime‟ kissing (who do you kiss?)

• architecture of cognition
        resolving conflict (Norman & Shallice, 1986)
        regulating automatic action
        leaving the movies
        kissing the boss
        inhibition
             A Few Words From William James


“we have so many ideas that do not result in action. But it will be seen that in
every such case, without exception, that is because other ideas present
simultaneously rob them of their impulsive power.”

                                           James (1890, p. 525)
 Help, I Need Somebody:
Macrae and Johnston (1998)
• Phase 1 - Scrambled Sentence Task
                helpfulness
                no-prime

• Phase 2 - The Clumsy Experimenter
                regular pens
                leaking pens

• did participants offer assistance?
                         Prime
               Helping           Control
regular pens   93.7%             68.7%

leaking pens   6.2%              12.5%
                             Expt 2:
                       On Resisting Assisting

• Phase 1 - Scrambled Sentence Task
                helpfulness
                no-prime

• Phase 2 - Moving To The Next Experiment
               running on schedule
               5 mins behind schedule

• did participants offer assistance (regular pens)?
                         Prime
               Helping           Control
on time        100%              75%

running late   12.5%             12.5%
                               Summary



Things Worth Knowing

1.   What is automaticity?
2.   Process and consequences of behavioral priming.



Next Week

1. Interpersonal Mimicry

								
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