A consideration of what is meant by automaticity and better ways to measure it

Keatley, David and Chan, Derwin and Caudwell, Kim and Chatzisarantis, Nikos and Hagger, Martin (2015) A consideration of what is meant by automaticity and better ways to measure it. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 . p. 1537. ISSN 1664-1078

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01537

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Abstract

Existing models of exercise behavior are insufficient in predicting outcomes, this point is shown by the relatively high levels of unexplained variance in exercise behavior in meta-analyses of social cognitive theories and models (Chatzisarantis et al., 2003; Hagger and Chatzisarantis, 2009). Researchers are beginning to recognize the importance of implicit, automatic processes in the prediction of health behaviors (Dimmock and Banting, 2009; Keatley et al., 2012, 2013b). The research by de Bruijn et al. (2014) is useful for highlighting the importance of automaticity in exercise behavior. We commend the authors on investigating an important approach to automaticity and exercise behavior. There were, however, some points with which we disagree. We think that the authors do not provide a clear account of what they mean by automaticity–an issue that is essential for the operationalization of the construct. Bargh (1994), for instance, suggested automaticity has four characteristics: awareness, intention, efficiency, and control; it is not clear whether de Bruijn and colleagues automaticity adheres to this. In particular, we contend that the explicit measure of automaticity used in their research is not an optimal way to assess implicit, impulsive processes. Furthermore, we contend that implicit measures, such as the implicit association test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) would be better positioned as measures of non-conscious processes. The present commentary focuses on pre-behavior automatic associations, which we contend are better assessed by existing implicit measures, rather than during-behavior automatic “processes.”

Keywords:implicit, implicit association test, automaticity, methods, habit, JCOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:19669
Deposited On:26 Nov 2015 20:08

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