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Conscious and unconscious mental states

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posted on 2023-06-10, 03:14 authored by Zoltan DienesZoltan Dienes, Anil SethAnil Seth
The major theories of consciousness that distinguish conscious from unconscious states can be grouped into two main classes, either higher order or integration theories. There is evidence that different types of mental states can be unconscious, though that conclusion depends on the theory of consciousness assumed. Unconscious memory (in the sense of the influence of a prior event not recollected) can shape perception, liking, and control our behaviour. Subliminal perception can produce semantic priming, guide attention and decision making; and optical variables a person describes incorrectly can guide action. Implicit learning can shape judgments and choices in complex environments. Unconscious intentions can allow people to respond appropriately in goal directed ways, while the person experiences the actions as involuntary. Unconscious attitudes are no more or less plausible than any other mental state being unconscious, but it has been hard to obtain evidence for unconscious attitudes, as distinct from gut reactions one does not agree with.

History

Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Book title

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology

Place of publication

Oxford

Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Editors

O Braddick

Legacy Posted Date

2022-04-26

First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date

2022-04-26

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