Journal article

Conscious thought does not guide moment-to-moment actions-it serves social and cultural functions

EJ Masicampo, Roy F Baumeister

FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY | FRONTIERS MEDIA SA | Published : 2013

Abstract

Humans enjoy a private, mental life that is richer and more vivid than that of any other animal. Yet as central as the conscious experience is to human life, numerous disciplines have long struggled to explain it. The present paper reviews the latest theories and evidence from psychology that addresses what conscious thought is and how it affects human behavior. We suggest that conscious thought adapts human behavior to life in complex society and culture. First, we review research challenging the common notion that conscious thought directly guides and controls action. Second, we present an alternative view-that conscious thought processes actions and events that are typically removed from ..

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