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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews theoretical approaches to mental representation and how these relate to implicit social cognition. The focus is on associative network, schema, and connectionist models, which have received a lot of attention in social cognition, as well as on embodied cognition, situated cognition, and multiple format models, which are areas of active growth. Each theory is scrutinized in relation to posing three questions. First, in what sense are representations implicit or explicit? Second, are the representations themselves implicit, or is the use of representations implicit? Third, are representations implicit permanently or only temporarily, depending on factors such as attention? The chapter discusses common themes and points of divergence across models and concludes with a discussion of attributional models, which suggest that important aspects of implicitness (such as consciousness, intent, and effort) may depend on inferences or construals people make about their own representations.

Keywords: mental representation, implicit social cognition, implicit representation, consciousness, unconscious cognition, implicit cognition

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