Nonconscious Control and Implicit Working Memory

Ran R. Hassin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The empirical examination of the capacities and capabilities of the cognitive unconscious creates an ongoing debate, partly because each new piece of evidence may carry farreaching implications for our understanding of consciousness, or, more generally, for our views on what is it like to be human. This chapter examines working memory (WM) and controlled processes, which-unlike their longtime companions, the automatic processes -are exclusively associated with conscious processing. The main purpose of this chapter is to advance the argument for nonconscious control and nonconscious controlled processes. First, it presents systematic data which show that WM can operate outside of conscious awareness. Second, it reviews recent findings in social cognition and shows how they suggest that motivational aspects of WM can flexibly control behavior outside of conscious awareness. Last, it presents a conceptual analysis that starts by pointing out that the notion of control is used in more than one sense. Importantly, once the meaningsof control are un-confounded, the relations of conscious awareness and cognitive control become a matter of empirical inquiry.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe New Unconscious
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847488
ISBN (Print)9780195307696
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2005 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Cognitive control
  • Cognitive unconscious
  • Conscious awareness
  • Consciousness
  • Controlled processes
  • Nonconscious control
  • Social cognition
  • Working memory


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonconscious Control and Implicit Working Memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this