Timothy D Wilson

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Evidence is reviewed which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Subjects are sometimes (a) unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, (b) unaware of the existence of the response, and (c) unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed(More)
When an attitude changes from A1 to A2, what happens to A1? Most theories assume, at least implicitly, that the new attitude replaces the former one. The authors argue that a new attitude can override, but not replace, the old one, resulting in dual attitudes. Dual attitudes are defined as different evaluations of the same attitude object: an automatic,(More)
People are generally unaware of the operation of the system of cognitive mechanisms that ameliorate their experience of negative affect (the psychological immune system), and thus they tend to overestimate the duration of their affective reactions to negative events. This tendency was demonstrated in 6 studies in which participants overestimated the(More)
The durability bias, the tendency to overpredict the duration of affective reactions to future events, may be due in part to focalism, whereby people focus too much on the event in question and not enough on the consequences of other future events. If so, asking people to think about other future activities should reduce the durability bias. In Studies 1-3,(More)
In Study 1, college students' preferences for different brands of strawberry jams were compared with experts' ratings of the jams. Students who analyzed why they felt the way they did agreed less with the experts than students who did not. In Study 2, college students' preferences for college courses were compared with expert opinion. Some students were(More)
We define mental contamination as the process whereby a person has an unwanted response because of mental processing that is unconscious or uncontrollable. This type of bias is distinguishable from the failure to know or apply normative rules of inference and can be further divided into the unwanted consequences of automatic processing and source confusion,(More)
In previous anchoring studies people were asked to consider an anchor as a possible answer to the target question or were given informative anchors. The authors predicted that basic anchoring effects can occur, whereby uninformative numerical anchors influence a judgment even when people are not asked to compare this number to the target value. Five studies(More)
Two different videotaped interviews were staged with the same individual—a college instructor who spoke English with a European accent. In one of the interviews the instructor was warm and friendly, in the other, cold and distant. The subjects who saw the warm instructor rated his appearance, mannerisms, and accent as appealing, whereas those who saw the(More)
All animals can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've experienced before. But humans can predict the hedonic consequences of events they've never experienced by simulating those events in their minds. Scientists are beginning to understand how the brain simulates future events, how it uses those simulations to predict an event's hedonic(More)
We propose a model of affective adaptation, the processes whereby affective responses weaken after one or more exposures to emotional events. Drawing on previous research, our approach, represented by the acronym AREA, holds that people attend to self-relevant, unexplained events, react emotionally to these events, explain or reach an understanding of the(More)