Over the past two decades, a new picture of the unconscious has emerged from a variety of disciplines that are broadly part of cognitive science. According to this picture, unconscious processes seem to be capable of doing many things that were thought to require intention, deliberation, and conscious awareness. Moreover, they accomplish these things without the conflict and drama of the psychoanalytic unconscious. These processes range from complex information processing, through goal pursuit and emotions, to cognitive control and self-regulation. This (...) collection of 20 original chapters by leading researchers examines the unconscious from social, cognitive, and neuroscientific viewpoints, presenting some of the most important developments at the heart of this new picture of the unconscious. The New Unconscious will be an important resource on the unconscious for researchers in psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
Psychologists are increasingly interested in embodiment based on the assumption that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are grounded in bodily interaction with the environment. We examine how embodiment is used in social psychology, and we explore the ways in which embodied approaches enrich traditional theories. Although research in this area is burgeoning, much of it has been more descriptive than explanatory. We provide a critical discussion of the trajectory of embodiment research in social psychology. We contend that future researchers should engage (...) in a phenomenon-based approach, highlight the theoretical boundary conditions and mediators involved, explore novel action-relevant outcome measures, and address the role of individual differences broadly defined. Such research will likely provide a more explanatory account of the role of embodiment in general terms as well as how it expands the knowledge base in social psychology. (shrink)
Working Memory plays a crucial role in many high-level cognitive processes . The prevalent view holds that active components of WM are predominantly intentional and conscious. This conception is oftentimes expressed explicitly, but it is best reflected in the nature of major WM tasks: All of them are blatantly explicit. We developed two new WM paradigms that allow for an examination of the role of conscious awareness in WM. Results from five studies show that WM can operate unintentionally and outside (...) of conscious awareness, thus suggesting that the current view should be expanded to include implicit WM. (shrink)
Happiness can be expressed through smiles. Happiness can also be expressed through physical displays that without context, would appear to be sadness and anger. These seemingly incongruent displays of happiness, termed dimorphous expressions, we propose, represent and communicate expressers’ motivational orientations. When participants reported their own aggressive expressions in positive or negative contexts, their expressions represented positive or negative emotional experiences respectively, imbued with appetitive orientations. In contrast, reported sad expressions, in positive or negative contexts, represented positive and negative emotional (...) experiences respectively, imbued with consummatory orientations. In six additional experiments, participant observers interpreted that aggression displayed in positive contexts signalled happy-appetitive states, and sadness displayed in positive contexts signalled happy-consummatory states. Implications for the production and interpretation of emotion expressions are discussed. (shrink)
Mere physical experiences of warmth, distance, hardness, and roughness are found to activate the more abstract psychological concepts that are analogically related to them, such as interpersonal warmth and emotional distance, thereby influencing social judgments and interpersonal behavior without the individual's awareness. These findings further support the principle of neural reuse in the development and operation of higher mental processes.
Perhaps the time has come to re-examine the basic notions of cognitive science. Together with previous challenges against associationism, the target article should be viewed as a call to arms to re-evaluate the empirical basis for contemporary conceptualizations of human learning and the notion of a concept that has become too imprecise for describing the elements of cognition.
To further illuminate the nature of conscious states, it may be progressive to integrate Merker's important contribution with what is known regarding (a) the temporal relation between conscious states and activation of the mesodiencephalic system; (b) the nature of the information (e.g., perceptual vs. premotor) involved in conscious integration; and (c) the neural correlates of olfactory consciousness. (Published Online May 1 2007).
The radical nub of Byrne & Russon's argument is that passive priming effects can produce much of the evidence of higher-order cognition in nonhuman primates. In support of their position we review evidence of similar behavioral priming effects n humans. However, that evidence further suggests that even program-level imitative behavior can be produced through priming.
Self-deception may be a natural consequence of active goal operation instead of an adaptation for negotiating the social world. We argue that because autonomous goal programs likely drove human judgment and behavior prior to evolution of a central executive or these goal programs can operate independently to attain their desired end states and thereby produce outcomes that the individual.
Contrary to Hoerl & McCormack, we argue that the best account of temporal cognition in humans is one in which a single system becomes capable of representing time. We suggest that H&M's own evidence for dual systems of temporal cognition – simultaneous contradictory beliefs – does not recommend dual systems, and that the single system approach is more plausible.