Beyond Behaviorism: On the Automaticity of Higher Mental Processes

Bargh, J. A. & Ferguson, M. J. (2000). Psychological Bulletin, 126, 925-45.

The first 100 years of experimental psychology were dominated by 2 major schools of thought: behaviorism and cognitive science. Here the authors consider the common philosophical commitment to determinism by both schools, and how the radical behaviorists' thesis of the determined nature of higher mental processes is being pursued today in social cognition research on automaticity. In harmony with “dual process” models in contemporary cognitive science, which equate determined processes with those that are automatic and which require no intervening conscious choice or guidance, as opposed to “controlled” processes which do, the social cognition research on the automaticity of higher mental processes provides compelling evidence for the determinism of those processes. This research has revealed that social interaction, evaluation and judgment, and the operation of internal goal structures can all proceed without the intervention of conscious acts of will and guidance of the process.



(My publication)Posted:Jan 11 2000, 12:00 AM by mferguson
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