Professor Roy Baumeister, one of the world's experts in social psychology, whose most recent book is titled Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength will visit the School of Psychology in April 2015.
Consciousness is a distinguishing trait of human experience, but does it cause behavior or serve other useful functions? Recent critiques, especially from studies of automatic processes and brain functions, have suggested that it is inefficient and ineffective for controlling action and unnecessary for perceiving the environment. This talk reviews experimental studies on how manipulations of conscious thought cause changes in behavior. It draws new conclusions about what conscious thought can and cannot do — and what it can do better than unconscious processes. It goes on to argue that the core functions of conscious thought are for relating to the social and cultural environment.
Roy Baumeister has published more than 500 articles and chapters, written and edited more than 30 books, and his work has been cited over 80,000 times.
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