Chapter

Probing the internal

Murray Shanahan

in Embodiment and the inner life

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199226559
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696220 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226559.003.0004
Probing the internal

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An individual's conscious cognition and behaviours are believed to be greatly influenced by his/her unconscious. The possibility of having a conscious thought that is entirely independent from the unconscious, however, is explored in this chapter. The conventions challenging this alternative cannot be taken lightly as these continuously question the possibility of differentiating consciously mediated behaviour from automatic behaviour. The Sperling Effect — an occurrence wherein an individual can recall several details but not the entire specifications of an event or object that he/she has encountered a few seconds ago — demonstrates how phenomenology overflows access and is among the numerous studies which contests the prospect of having a well-defined distinction between conscious and unconscious cognition and behaviour. This chapter seeks to differentiate conscious and unconscious behaviours by making use of introspective reports and experimental paradigms and discusses the challenges and the likelihood of having separate conscious and unconscious cognition.

Keywords: conscious; unconscious; distinction; consciously mediated behaviour; automatic behaviour; Sperling Effect; behaviour; cognition

Chapter.  12347 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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