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Adaptive Unconscious

Definition

Automatic processes are processes that are unconscious, unintentional, uncontrollable, and efficient (i.e., they do not require cognitive resources). The term adaptive unconscious refers to the fact that these automatic processes evolved because they are beneficial to people who rely on them. People have to process extensive amounts of information on a daily basis to be able to function effectively and navigate their social worlds. Because people have limited amounts of cognitive resources, there would be no way to process all of this information at a conscious level. In other words, people can only consciously think about a very small amount of the information with which they are confronted. Therefore, people have developed a set of automatic processes that can help them to accomplish all of ...

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