Social Cognitive Processing

Human beings process information on a regular basis both automatically (unconscious processing) and in a controlled (conscious processing) or goal-directed manner. These dual modes of social cognitive processing influence your perception of others and social behavior. The research within the field of social psychology reveals that much of our behavior is automatic and comes in a variety of ways (Dijksterhuis, 2010). For example, a person might be aware of a subliminal message in advertising, yet he or she is unaware of the effect it may have on his or her responses. A controlled or conscious processing is characterized by controllability and awareness.

It is also evident that the automatic versus controlled processing duality is demonstrated in many aspects of social cognitive functioning, including attitude formation, attribution, social judgment and stereotyping, to name a few. This dichotomy is one to which you will return periodically in this course.

For this Discussion, consider both the conscious and unconscious social cognitive processes or dual modes of processing, and how you have engaged in each within the last 24 hours, and think about why and how you engaged in these processes.

Reference: Dijksterhuis, A. (2010). Automaticity and the unconscious. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 228–267). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4
 a brief description of one example of a conscious and one example of an unconscious social cognitive process you engaged in within the last 24 hours. Then, explain one possible reason why each of the dual modes of processing occurred. Finally, explain one way each of the modes of processing impacted you. Be specific and use the current literature to support your response.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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