Conscious and unconscious mental states

Dienes, Zoltan and Seth, Anil K (2022) Conscious and unconscious mental states. In: Braddick, O (ed.) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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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.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
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Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 08:37
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 12:12

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