| Social Cognition
Unconscious Thought Works Bottom-up and Conscious Thought Works Top-down When Forming an Impression
We tested and found supportive evidence for one of the principles of Unconscious Thought Theory (UTT); namely, that unconscious thought is a bottom-up process, whereas conscious thought is a top-down process. In two experiments on impression formation, participants read behavioral information about a fictitious person after a stereotype had been activated. We found that unconscious thinkers formed an impression unbiased by the stereotype, suggesting a bottom-up strategy, whereas conscious thinkers relied on the stereotype, suggesting a top-down strategy. That is, when thinking consciously, participants relied more on stereotype-congruent information and suppressed stereotype-incongruent information. Implications for impression formation are discussed.
Keywords: Cognition and Thinking;
Management Practices and Processes;
Prejudice and Bias;