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Social Cognitive Processing: Dual Modes

1. Explain two differences between the dual modes of social cognitive processing.
2. Explain when conscious/controlled social cognitive processing is more likely to occur than unconscious/automatic social cognitive processing.
3. Using the current literature, select an article that measures a conscious or an unconscious social cognitive process within a work environment (e.g., health, legal, education, public administration, marketing, organizational).

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1. Explain two differences between the dual modes of social processing

In its origin, cognitive theories contrasted with previous theories focused on behavioral functions by placing an emphasis on mental processing. Dual modes of social cognitive processing emerged during the nineteenth century based on the interest in controlling information (Evans, 2008). For example, the area of Cognitive psychology in Social cognition was concentrated on the social environment as it impacts personal qualities such as thinking and feeling (Balsher, Ruzik, Bonger, & Cordova, 2011). As Balsher et al explain, Social cognition is focused on schemas (set of rules) used to understand and interpret the world and how individuals perceive and function in the world. Cognitive processing is based on thinking, reasoning, decision-making and social judgment. The mode of social cognitive processing explains how people process and apply information to other people, events and/or situations.

Research shows that these are are different modes as to how individuals process information. For instance, there are clear distinctions between processes that are unconscious and those that are conscious. For example, unconscious processes are rapid, automatic, and high capacity (e.g., sleeping, dreaming). These processes rapidly contextualize problems with prior knowledge and belief in human reasoning. By contrast, conscious processes are abstract, de-contextualized, slow, sequential and capacity limited (e.g., reasoning, judgment, decision-making). In other words, conscious processes are ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the differences between dual modes of social cognitive processing. It discusses when conscious/controlled vs. unconscious/automatic social processing might occur.