Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The overwhelming majority of those who theorize about implicit biases posit that these biases are caused by some sort of association. However, what exactly this claim amounts to is rarely specified. In this paper, I distinguish between understandings of association as a theory of learning, a theory of cognitive structure, a theory of mental processes, and as an implementation base for cognition. I then argue that the crucial senses of association for elucidating implicit bias are the cognitive structure and mental process senses. A hypothesis is subsequently derived: if associations really underpin implicit biases, then implicit biases should be modulated by counterconditioning or extinction but should not be modulated by rational argumentation. This hypothesis is false; implicit biases are not, at heart, predicated on any associative structures or associative processes but instead arise because of unconscious propositionally structured beliefs. I conclude by discussing how the case study of implicit bias illuminates problems with popular dual process models of cognitive architecture.|
|Keywords||Implicit Bias Associationism Cognitive Structure Belief Implicit Attitudes Reasoning Inference Unconscious Thought Racism|
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