What is the status of research on implicit bias? In light of meta‐analyses revealing ostensibly low average correlations between implicit measures and behavior, as well as various other psychometric concerns, criticism has become ubiquitous. We argue that while there are significant challenges and ample room for improvement, research on the causes, psychological properties, and behavioral effects of implicit bias continues to deserve a role in the sciences of the mind as well as in efforts to understand, and ultimately combat, discrimination (...) and inequality. (shrink)
We identify several ongoing debates related to implicit measures, surveying prominent views and considerations in each debate. First, we summarize the debate regarding whether performance on implicit measures is explained by conscious or unconscious representations. Second, we discuss the cognitive structure of the operative constructs: are they associatively or propositionally structured? Third, we review debates whether performance on implicit measures reflects traits or states. Fourth, we discuss the question of whether a person’s performance on an implicit measure reflects characteristics of (...) the person who is taking the test or characteristics of the situation in which the person is taking the test. Finally, we survey the debate about the relationship between implicit measures and (other kinds of) behavior. (shrink)
A central theme in recent research on attitudes is the distinction between deliberate, "explicit" attitudes and automatic, "implicit" attitudes. The present article provides an integrative review of the available evidence on implicit and explicit attitude change that is guided by a distinction between associative and propositional processes. Whereas associative processes are characterized by mere activation independent of subjective truth or falsity, propositional reasoning is concerned with the validation of evaluations and beliefs. The proposed associative-propositional evaluation model makes specific assumptions about (...) the mutual interplay of the 2 processes, implying several mechanisms that lead to symmetric or asymmetric changes in implicit and explicit attitudes. The model integrates a broad range of empirical evidence and implies several new predictions for implicit and explicit attitude change. (shrink)
Joshua Greene has argued that the empirical findings of cognitive science have implications for ethics. In particular, he has argued (1) that people’s deontological judgments in response to trolley problems are strongly influenced by at least one morally irrelevant factor, personal force, and are therefore at least somewhat unreliable, and (2) that we ought to trust our consequentialist judgments more than our deontological judgments when making decisions about unfamiliar moral problems. While many cognitive scientists have rejected Greene’s dual-process theory of (...) moral judgment on empirical grounds, philosophers have mostly taken issue with his normative assertions. For the most part, these two discussions have occurred separately. The current analysis aims to remedy this situation by philosophically analyzing the implications of moral dilemma research using the CNI model of moral decision-making – a formalized, mathematical model that decomposes three distinct aspects of moral-dilemma judgments. In particular, we show how research guided by the CNI model reveals significant conceptual, empirical, and theoretical problems with Greene’s dual-process theory, thereby questioning the foundations of his normative conclusions. (shrink)
A widespread assumption in recent research on attitudes is that self-reported evaluations reflect conscious attitudes, whereas indirectly assessed evaluations reflect unconscious attitudes. The present article reviews the available evidence regarding unconscious features of indirectly assessed “implicit” attitudes. Distinguishing between three different aspects of attitudes, we conclude that people sometimes lack conscious awareness of the origin of their attitudes, but that lack of source awareness is not a distinguishing feature of indirectly assessed versus self-reported attitudes, there is no evidence that people (...) lack conscious awareness of indirectly assessed attitudes per se, and there is evidence showing that, under some conditions, indirectly assessed attitudes influence other psychological processes outside of conscious awareness. Implications for the concept of “implicit attitudes” are discussed. (shrink)
Based on a review of several “anomalies” in research using implicit measures, Machery (2021) dismisses the modal interpretation of participant responses on implicit measures and, by extension, the value of implicit measures. We argue that the reviewed findings are anomalies only for specific—influential but long-contested—accounts that treat responses on implicit measures as uncontaminated indicators of trait-like unconscious representations that coexist with functionally independent conscious representations. However, the reviewed findings are to-be-expected “normalities” when viewed from the perspective of long-standing alternative frameworks (...) that treat responses on implicit measures as the product of dynamic processes that operate on momentarily activated, consciously accessible information. Thus, although we agree with Machery that the modal view is empirically unsupported, we argue that implicit measures can make a valuable contribution to understanding the complexities of human behavior if they are used wisely in a way that acknowledges what they can and cannot do. (shrink)
We extend Newell & Shanks' (N&S's) arguments to the question of whether implicit evaluations reflect unconscious attitudes. We argue that correspondence to explicit evaluations fails to meet the criteria of relevance and sensitivity. When awareness is measured adequately and in line with N&S's criteria, there is compelling evidence that people are consciously aware of their implicit evaluations.
This volume provides an overview of recent research on the nature, causes, and consequences of cognitive consistency. In 21 chapters, leading scholars address the pivotal role of consistency principles at various levels of social information processing, ranging from micro-level to macro-level processes. The book's scope encompasses mental representation, processing fluency and motivational fit, implicit social cognition, thinking and reasoning, decision making and choice, and interpersonal processes. Key findings, emerging themes, and current directions in the field are explored, and important questions (...) for future research identified. (shrink)
Drawing on our Associative-Propositional Evaluation (APE) Model, we argue for the usefulness of distinguishing between basic operating principles of learning processes (associative linking vs. propositional reasoning) and secondary features pertaining to the conditions of their operation (automatic vs. controlled). We review empirical evidence that supports the joint operation of associative and propositional processes in the formation of new associations.
We leverage the notion that abstraction enables prediction to generate novel insights and hypotheses for the literatures on attitudes and mate preferences. We suggest that ideas about liking are more abstract than experiences of liking, and that ideas about liking may facilitate mental travel beyond the here-and-now.