EFFECTS OF AWARENESS PROMOTION ON AUTOMATIC BEHAVIOR
Oikawa, H., Hitotsubashi University, Japan
It has been shown that knowledge accessibility activated by simple perception of environmental stimulus influences the processing of various tasks. These automatic effects of concept activation are known to appear in the absence of participants' awareness about possible influences. But most of the related studies are concerned with effects on cognition such as impression formation, and it is unclear whether the same principle will apply to the effects bearing on overt behavior. Present study is concerned with effect of awareness on automatic behavior. 52 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to three conditions; unaware priming condition, priming and awareness promotion condition, and control condition. As a priming manipulation, all participants worked on scrambled sentence task (Srull & Wyer, 1979) containing words related to "carefulness"(or unrelated neutral words in control condition) before a simple calculation task. The results show that participants in unaware priming condition were performing the calculation task more carefully and thoroughly compared to control condition. Moreover, this effect was reduced when awareness was promoted after priming procedure. This finding demonstrates how manipulation to raise the awareness of possible effects from previous exercise can be employed to impede otherwise effective automomatic influence on task performance. Possible integration of automaticity view on overt behavior and techniques to prevent unwanted effects of the kind is discussed.