Trait-unconsciousness, State-unconsciousness, Preconsciousness, and Social Miscalibration in the Context of Implicit Evaluations

Adam Hahn, Alexandra Goedderz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Implicit evaluations are often assumed to reflect “unconscious attitudes”. We review data from our lab to conclude that the truth of this statement depends on how one defines “unconscious”. A trait definition of unconscious according to which implicit evaluations reflect cognitions that are introspectively inaccessible at all times appears to be inaccurate. However, when unconscious is defined as a state in which cognitions can be in at specific times, some data suggest that the cognitions reflected on implicit evaluations may sometimes unfold without direct awareness in that people seem to rarely pay attention to them. Additionally, people appear to be miscalibrated in their reports in that they construe even conscious biases in self-serving ways. This analysis suggests that implicit evaluations do not reflect unconscious cognitions per se, but awareness-independent cognitions that are often preconscious and miscalibrated. Discussion centers on the meaning of this analysis for theory and application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S115–S134
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume38
Issue numberSupplement
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020

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