Automatic and flexible: The case of nonconscious goal pursuit

Ran R. Hassin, John A. Bargh, Shira Zimerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Arguing from the nature of goal pursuit and from the economy of mental resources this article suggests that automatic goal pursuit, much like its controlled counterpart, may be flexible. Two studies that employ goal priming procedures examine this hypothesis using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (Study 1) and a variation of the Iowa Gambling Task (Study 2). Implications of the results for our understanding of the dichotomy between automatic and controlled processes in general, and for our conception of automatic goal pursuit in particular, are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20-36
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


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