Friday, March 21, 2014

The Role of Awareness in Attitude Formation through Evaluative Conditioning

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Personality and Social Psychology Review 18, 2 (2014) 187-209

This article provides a review of past and contemporary debates regarding the role of awareness in attitude formation through evaluative conditioning, that is, by repeatedly pairing a stimulus with other stimuli of positive or negative valen ce. Because evaluative conditioning is considered the most prototypical method to form and change the network of evaluative associations in memory, the role of awareness in this effect is critical to the question of whether attitudes may be formed and changed through dual processes. We analyze the reasons why there has been so much discussion and disagreement regarding the role of awareness, review past and contemporary methodologies and their limitations, discuss the role of mental processes and conditioning procedures and identify promising directions for future research in this area.