Unconscious Social Attitudes

Forming a rich social categories helps individuals in reasoning about other people’s norms, values, beliefs, and actions as directed by group affiliation. However, social categorization in neuroscience research has resulted in adverse impacts. Examples of such consequences include prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping, among others. Social categorization starts at the infancy stage. According to Liberman et al. (556) work, social inclinations for in-group members begin in their early days of life where infants use the social subgroups to guide their inductive generalities and hopes regarding social relationships. When trying to form new information, children tend to look up to the in-group rather than the out-group. Social categorization is automatic rather than conscious.

In Anderson’s (1820) work, everyone is judgmental and biased and especially to people outside his/her social group. According to Liberman et al. (557), a social categorization is an automatic form of cognition. Anderson argues that a part of perception is spontaneous where things occur without taking much effort work. Each time one does an action, it becomes easier to repeat it during the next encounter. Human beings keep judging people based on their values and behaviors. In such a case, judgments are affected by schemas and occur quickly and automatically.  


Although much of the judgments are automatic, there are later controlled, more deliberate judgments. One may prejudice another social group automatically at the first encounter. In later encounters, such discrimination is more deliberate. Since automatic thinking happens outside an individual consciousness, one has no idea, and it is happening and significantly affecting judgments. From the above exploration, it is evident that biases are entirely automatic brain processes. In this case, one does not have to plan on discriminating against people from another social group on the first encounters.

Works Cited

Anderson, Brian A. “Controlled Information Processing, Automaticity, And The Burden Of Proof”. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, vol 25, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1814-1823. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1412-7.

Liberman, Zoe et al. “The Origins Of Social Categorization”. Trends In Cognitive Sciences, vol 21, no. 7, 2017, pp. 556-568. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.04.004.