Bannière Institut des sciences cognitives Institut des sciences cognitives

CONFÉRENCE: Contextualized Representation and Automatic Evaluation


22 mars à 15h00 au DS-1950. 

Contextualized Representation and Automatic Evaluation

Bertram Gawronski

The University of Western Ontario


Automatic evaluative responses play a central role in many areas of psychology. Counter to views that such responses are relatively rigid and inflexible, a large body of research has shown that they are highly context-sensitive. One issue that is less well understood, however, is when and why automatic evaluations are context-dependent or context-independent. The current talk presents a representational account that specifies when and how context information is included in the evaluative representation of an object, thereby modulating automatic evaluative responses to that object. Drawing on the concepts of occasion setting and renewal in animal learning, the account implies precise predictions about the contextual conditions under which automatic evaluations reflect (a) initially acquired information; (b) subsequently acquired, counterattitudinal information; or (c) a mixture of both. The talk includes findings from a set of studies that tested these predictions and several hypotheses about the particular way in which contextual information is stored in memory. Implications for various applications (e.g., treatment of dysfunctional or undesired automatic evaluative responses) will be discussed.

Bertram Gawronski is Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology at The University of Western Ontario (Canada). He completed his M.A. in Philosophy in 1998 at the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and his Ph.D. in Psychology in 2001 at Humboldt University Berlin (Germany). Before he accepted his current position at The University of Western Ontario, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Würzburg (Germany) and Northwestern University (USA). His research aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying spontaneous and deliberate evaluations, with a particular focus on the role of associative and propositional processes. He served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and his work has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Early Career Award from the International Social Cognition Network, and the Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario.