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The Unconscious Mind Notes

Psychology Notes > The Unconscious Mind Lecture Notes

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Lecture 1 - Introduction

Unconscious Attraction

1. Causes of general physiological arousal may be unconsciously confused with sexual arousal

2. Suspension bridge a. Male/Female interviewer approaches a single man after crossing the suspension or the solid bridge, asking him to participate in a study b. Write a brief story about character of a picture (TAT) c. Story coded for "sexual imagery"

d. Participants are told that they can ring the experimenter

Unconscious "Helpfulness"

1. Invited to participate in an experiment that consist several task a. First Task i. "Mouse clicking - fairly easy and boring task of clicking a moving box reacted by a male or female experimenter b. Second task i. Read a text on a computer screen ii. Casual sex story or control story c. Third Task i. Writing feedback on the first mouse clicking task to the experimenter who created the task d. Helpfulness ranked i. Number of words used ii. Length of time spent

Unconscious Rudeness

1. Come to an experiment on "language ability", which consists of two tasks

2. First Task a. Scrambled sentences Test

3. Second Task a. Going to another experiment room and interrupt the experimenter to start the next experiment

4. Given a set of words like "they her send see usually" and asked to contract a sentence a. Rude b. Polite c. Neutral

Unconscious Hostility

1. Shown a picture of a young Black / Caucasian man (13-26 msec)

2. Shown a picture of circles

3. Decide whether they are even or odd number

4. 130th trial: "data-saving error", experimental fixes it

5. Wait anxiously if you have to do this boring task once again

Unconscious Aggression:

1. "Shooting game"

2. A figure appears on a balcony

3. Shoot an armed figure, but not to shoot an unarmed figure

4. Some wear turban, others do not


1. Contra-distinction with the conscious

2. Absence of some or all of component of consciousness

3. Conscious psychological process: a. Awareness of the process b. Execution of the process requires effort c. Intention is required to instigate the process d. Process can be stopped and controlled by intention

4. Intention a. Intentional actions: reasons b. Unintentional actions: causes

Lecture 2- Social Psychological Measurements of the Unconscious

Social Psychology

1. The scientific study of how individuals think, feel and behave in a social context.

2. Notes a. Scientific/empirical approach b. Thoughts, feelings, and emotion = fair game c. Others do not have to be actually present = imagined / implied

3. Topis a. Beliefs about the self b. How we form impressions of others c. Interpersonal attraction d. Prejudice & discrimination e. Group and intergroup process Norm Triplett

1. 40 children wound a fishing reel

2. Competition > Alone Maximilian Ringelmann

1. Pull on a rope against measure gauge

2. Alone > With others Robert zajonc

1. Dominant / Nondominant responses

2. Presence of others: a. Increases dominant responses b. Decrease nondominant responses Automatic vs controlled processes

1. Control a. Required attention b. Slow c. Voluntary d. Controllable

2. Automatic a. Outside awareness b. Efficient c. Involuntary d. Uncontrollable

3. Automaticity of social phenomena a. Doesn't mean unaware of behaviour, unware of the process(es) guiding it b. Goal pursuit i. Primed outside conscious awareness ii. Automatically primed goals are pursued in the same way as those "consciously" initiated iii. Emotional consequences are identical c. Social behaviour i. Adopt the physical behaviour of those around us ii. Imitation increases linking for and bonding with others Limits to "Self-regulatory" Capacity

1. Minor acts of self-control use up our limited self-regulatory resource

2. Depends on whether or not we believe that self-control is a finite resource or not Measuring "automatic" associations

1. Earliest test = word association tests Projective tests - disadvantages

1. Underling theoretical approach

2. Inter-rater reliability

3. Predictive utility Attitudes

1. The evaluation or affect associated with a social object

2. Most distinctive and indispensable concept

3. Abstract metal representation that are proposed to have three components:

Explicitly-assessed attitudes

1. Attitudes predict actions (Myers 1987) a. Other influences are minimised b. The attitude is specific to the action c. As we act, we are conscious of our attitudes i. Something reminds us of them ii. Acquired them in a manner that makes them strong Measuring attitudes indirectly

1. Explicit measures a. Susceptible to problems of self-presentation concerns b. Lack of accessibility to the construct of interest

2. Requires memory search / thoughtful analysis

3. Number of indirect measures are now used "routinely" in research

4. Involved responses on some experimental task a. IAT b. Go/No-Go Association Task c. Lexical decision tasks d. Physical distance e. Facial expressions Implicit attitudes structures

1. Attitudes: associative network that consist of nodes that are connected to other nodes in the network

2. Connections between nodes can differ in strength

3. One node activated, those connected to it become activated to the extent that they are connected with the activated node

4. Need to assess strengths Implicit Association Test (IAT)

1. Assesses the relative preference for one attitude object over another

2. Reaction times on classification task

3. Stimuli representing attitude objects are paired with stimuli representing evaluative categories

4. Reaction times are adjusted so as to eliminate extreme responses and error rates

5. Evaluation a. IAT predicts ~.27 i. Judgements ii. Choices iii. Physiological responses iv. Behaviours v. Stereotyping vi. Prejudice b. Explicit predicts ~.35 i. Brand-related choices ii. Political preferences c. Attitudes & intention to help Muslims i. IAT = negative ii. Explicit = neutral iii. Report

1. Little contact with Muslims

2. Disagree generalisation

3. Should be allowed to migrate

4. Likely to help Muslim Go/No-Go Association task

1. Stimuli from two categories are presented in the presence of distracter stimuli

2. Stimulus: from one or the relevant categories

3. Strength of association: relative error rates Modified Stroop Task (MST)

1. Judging colour of words, ignore meaning

2. Sematic processing takes precedence -> interference

3. Words have emotional significance -> greater interference, slower responses Lexical Decision Task (LDT)

1. Letter strings = words/nonwords

2. Words recognised more rapidly

3. Letter strings presented in pairs a. Associated responded to more rapidly Reliability and validity

1. Bosson et al. (2000) a. 7 implicit measures b. 4 explicit measures c. Test-retest (r=.02) i. Great variability ii. Near acceptable level

1. Esteem IAT (r.=.69)

2. Name-letter evaluation (r=.63) d. Poor predictive validity i. Only IAT & name-letter task has significant prediction

2. Preference for spiders and cats a. MST i. Not significantly different from one another ii. No sex difference b. LDT i. Non-words = slower to spider and neutral ii. Neutral & spider = no differerence

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