Implicit And Explicit Determinants Of Judgment And Behavior: A Descriptive And Prescriptive Analysis
Researchers have had a long-standing interest in the relative contributions of implicit and explicit processes to judgments and behaviours. Although conscious deliberation has often served as the "gold standard" for normatively correct decisions, researchers are increasingly beginning to focus their attention on the relative strengths of implicit processes, pointing to situations in which, it is claimed, they can sometimes exceed rational deliberation. In this work, I explore both the descriptive question of how individuals come to trust the dictates of an implicit or explicit process when the two pull in opposing directions, as well as the prescriptive question of when implicit and explicit processes can serve as reliable guides for sound judgments and adaptive behaviours. Three lines of work examine these questions. In the first line (Studies 1-3), I ask how people come to trust intuition or reason in the context of situations in which they experience a conflict between them. I find consistent support for what I call the state cuing hypothesis-that is, the notion that people attempt to resolve such conflicts by looking for cues in their current mental states that help them decide what to do. Specifically, I find that when the features of one's mental state matches the features people associate with intuitive or rational thought, this serves to make one source of input "feel right," causing it to exert a greater influence on the decision. In the second line of work (Studies 4-8), I assess the extent to which intuitions can successfully capture relevant aspects of one's prior experiences with decision objects, thus allowing them to serve as a reliable source of information when choosing among them. However, across 4 replication attempts, I find that intuitive judgments are perhaps not as reliable as past research would suggest. Finally, in the third line of work (Studies 8-12), I assess whether implicit attitudes can be quickly revised in light of recent, relevant experiences. I find consistent support across the studies that implicit attitudes can indeed be rapidly revised in light of new, countervailing information, thus suggesting that implicit attitudes can serve as a reliable guide for behaviour even in situations in which recent experience is inconsistent with past learning. Taken together, this research attempts to advance our understanding both of the factors that can influence the extent to which people believe that implicit and explicit processes are valuable and reliable, as well as the actual contribution of each type of process to normative and satisfying judgments and behaviours.
implicit; explicit; intuition; reason; judgment; attitudes; revision; change
Gilovich, Thomas Dashiff
Ferguson, Melissa J.; Dunning, David Alan; Edelman, Shimon J.
Ph.D. of Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis