The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘John Bargh’

John Bargh Responds

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 11, 2012

On his blog, The Natural Unconscious, Situationist Contributor John Bargh has posted a long response to an article written by a group of social psychologists who were unable to replicate one of Bargh’s classic studies.  Here’s the opening paragraph of Bargh’s post:

Scientific integrity in the era of pay-as-you-go publications and superficial online science journalism. What prompts the return of the blog is a recent article titled “Behavioral Priming: It’s All in the Mind, but Whose Mind?”  by Stéphane Doyen, Olivier Klein, Cora-Lise Pichon, and Axel Cleeremans. The researchers reported that they could not replicate our lab’s 1996 finding that priming (subtly activating in the minds of our college-age experimental participants, without their awareness) the stereotype of the elderly caused participants to walk more slowly when leaving the experiment. We had predicted this effect based on emerging theory and evidence that perceptual mental representations were intimately linked with behavioral representations, a finding that is very well established now in the field (see below). Following their failure to replicate, Doyen et al. went on to show that if the experimenter knew the hypothesis of the study, they were able to then find the effect. Their conclusion was that experimenter expectancies or awareness of the research hypotheses had therefore produced the effect in our original 1996 study as well—in other words, that there was no actual unconscious stereotype effect on the participants’ behavior.

Read more here.

Related Situationist posts:

Image from Flickr.

Posted in Classic Experiments, Implicit Associations, Situationist Contributors | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Bargh and Baumeister and the Free Will Debate

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 1, 2009

From Googlevideo: “John A. Bargh, Ph.D., professor at Yale University [and Situationist Contributor], speaks during a symposium at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention in Tampa, FL. This special keynote session was titled “What Social Psychology can Tell Us about the ‘Free Will’ Question.”

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From Googlevideo: Roy Baumeister of Florida State University speaks at the same event about the usefulness and complexity of consciousness and human culture.

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To read a sample of related Situationist posts, see “The Death of Free Will and the Rise of Cheating,” “Interview of Eric Kandel,” and “Coalition of the Will-less.”

Posted in Experimental Philosophy, Morality, Neuroscience, Video | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Situation of Body Temperature

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 20, 2008

Benedict Carey has an interesting story in the Herald Tribune, “A Cold Stare Can Make You Crave Some Heat.”  Here’s a sample.

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For every congenial character who can warm a room, there’s another who can bring a draft from the north, a whiff of dead winter. And even if the thermometer doesn’t register the difference, people do: social iciness feels so cold to those on the receiving end that they will crave a hot drink, a new study has found.

The paper, appearing in the current issue of the journal Psychological Science, is the latest finding from the field of embodied cognition, in which researchers have shown that the language of metaphor can activate physical sensations, and vice versa.

Just as spreading a bad rumor can make people feel literally dirty, so did research subjects who felt socially excluded perceive a significantly lower room temperature than those who felt included.

“We know that being excluded is psychologically painful,” said the lead author, Chen-Bo Zhong, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, “and here we found that it feels just like it’s described in metaphors,” like icy stare and frosty reception.

[Situationist contributor] John Bargh, a psychologist at Yale who was not involved in the research, said the finding made “perfect sense.” In an e-mail message, he noted that a brain region called the insula tracks both body temperature and general psychological states, and it may be here where social perceptions and sensations of warmth or coldness are fused.

In the new paper, Dr. Zhong and Geoffrey J. Leonardelli, also a psychologist at Toronto, describe two experiments.

In one, they split 65 students into two groups, instructing those in one to recall a time when they felt socially rejected, and those in the other to summon a memory of social acceptance.

Many of the students were recent immigrants and had fresh memories of being isolated in the dorms, left behind while roommates went out, Dr. Zhong said.

The researchers then had each of the participants estimate the temperature in the lab room. The students who had recalled being excluded estimated the temperature to be, on average, 5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the others.

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To read the rest of the article, including a description of their fascinating second experiment, click here. To read a few related Situationist posts, see “Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Processes,” “The (Unconscious) Situation of our Consciousness – Part III,” and”The Unconscious Situation of our Consciousness – Part IV.”

Posted in Social Psychology | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Processes

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 24, 2008

The cognitive revolution of psychology in the 1970s began to give way to the early findings of automaticity in the 1980s, which were spearheaded by Situationist contributor John Bargh, whose dissertation on automatic social perception won the Dissertation Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 1982. Since that time, the field of automaticity has grown from a few studies on social perception and judgment to encompass research across the social psychology spectrum, including research on emotions, attitudes, goal pursuit, relationships, and evaluations.

In Bargh’s latest book, Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Processes, he collects chapters from researchers working on automaticity within these varied contexts. Bargh makes clear in his introduction that the original assumption of a dichotomy between automatic and controlled mental processes is overly simple and reductive, and many of the essays deal with the interaction of these processes.

The first chapter gives an excellent introduction to the field of automaticity, covering many of the leading theories and models of automaticity, and setting up the interplay between automaticity and control that is woven throughout the book. Other chapters focus on the state of the art of automaticity in each of the subfields of social psychology in which the authors research.

Since each chapter focuses on a different subfield, the book is most valuable as a resource in its gestalt. However, for researchers interested in psychology and law, a few points stand out. First, the chapter assessing the current status and validity of the IAT will be useful, especially given the criticism it has received in the legal literature. Second, the chapter on automaticity of emotion sheds some light on crimes of passion. Finally, the last chapter, which focuses on Process Dissociation Procedure, uses the Amadou Diallo case as a jumping-off point for research on reactions to ambiguous objects (is it a gun or a tool?) in the presence of black faces and white faces. The article explains the theory’s attempts to separate intentional and unintentional contributions to the same behavior.

David Hamilton, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara says, and we at The Situationist agree, that this “highly readable . . . book will be invaluable for researchers, teachers, and scholars throughout social psychology.”

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For a sample of previous, related Situationist posts, see “Unconscious Situation of Choice,” “The Situation of Hair Color,” The Situation of Reason,” “The Situation of “Winners” and “Losers,” and Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV of “The Unconscious Situation of our Consciousness.

Posted in Book, Choice Myth, Implicit Associations, Public Policy, Social Psychology | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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