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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter on automaticity centers around two distinctions that are vital for understanding human behavior: The first is that some behavior is voluntary, whereas other behavior is involuntary. The second is that some behavior is conscious, whereas other behavior is unconscious. In the first part of this chapter, classic lines of research on automaticity—research on incubation, on introspection, on skill acquisition, on preconscious processing, and on imitation and priming—are briefly reviewed. The second part of the chapter deals with our current understanding of the relation between goals, attention, and consciousness. Attention and consciousness are clearly distinguished, and it is argued that goals guide attention, but not consciousness. The chapter ends with a contemporary perspective on control and on the relation between consciousness, goals, and flexibility in behavior.

Keywords: Automaticity, unconscious, consciousness, goals, attention, control, flexibility

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