The Development of Automatism of Social Judgments.
Interim technical rept.,
PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IN DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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The distinction between automatic and nonautomatic processing has been prominent recently in social cognition, but little research to date has examined the development of automatism of social judgments and other social information processing tasks. This paper reports two studies exploring a number of aspects of the development of automatism, to determine the rate of its development and what theoretically expected correlates can be detected. Results show that automatism can develop relatively rapidly within a few dozen trials and requires repeated execution of the same process, not necessarily with the same content. Increases in processing efficiency, the ability to transfer the increased efficiency to new information content, and memory storage are shown to be related to automatism of a process developed through practice. We give a tentative theoretical account that relates these results to others in social cognition and cognitive psychology. Keywords Social inference Cognition processes and Memory.