Conscious and unconscious processes: The effects of motivation

Consciousness and Cognition 8 (1):94-113 (1999)
Abstract
The process-dissociation procedure has been used in a variety of experimental contexts to assess the contributions of conscious and unconscious processes to task performance. To evaluate whether motivation affects estimates of conscious and unconscious processes, participants were given incentives to follow inclusion and exclusion instructions in a perception task and a memory task. Relative to a control condition in which no performance incentives were given, the results for the perception task indicated that incentives increased the participants' ability to exclude previously presented information, which in turn both increased the estimate of conscious processes and decreased the estimate of unconscious processes. However, the results also indicated that incentives did not influence estimates of conscious or unconscious processes in the memory task. The findings suggest that the process-dissociation procedure is relatively immune to influences of motivation when used with a memory task, but that caution should be exercised when the process-dissociation is used with a perception task.
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