Breaking News Some Activities Don't Require Your Brain! Have you ever been in the car driving, and all of a sudden you're at your destination, unaware of how you even got there? Or while reading a book you have no idea of what you Just read halfway down the page? If so, then you may have experienced the amazing phenomenon of automatic! Automatic is the ability to do certain activities with minimal cognitive effort. It emerges from habit, meaning that activities are only automated if they are done repeatedly over a certain stretch of time.Driving is a one of the most popular and experienced examples. Driving for most people is completely automated because the event occurs so frequently.
Your brain has undergone the work required for you to learn how to drive, and once its functions were completed, it no longer needed to keep reminding you how to drive. Another example is basic math. One does not have to cognitively think about one plus one equaling two: it is a natural and automotive process. One of the major studies conducted that gives results to this phenomenon s called The Strop Effect.
What's interesting about this sensation is that it is virtually impossible to interfere with its processes. The Strop Effect was conducted under the watch of J. Riddle Strop in 1935, and is still widely used as a means of understanding the process of automatic. An example of the Strop Effect is located in the picture to the left. He observed that people who are given a word list that is in a different color, find it extremely difficult to name the color of the actual ink, regardless of what the word says.
However, when they were asked to read the word, they had no problems of recall, even if the word was in a different color. The graph below shoes the results from the original Strop Effect experiment conducted in 1935. As you can see, the reaction time for word recall is much smaller than that for color recall. This shows evidence that reading is an automated cognitive process.
Participants had no trouble reading the words because they are so accustomed to reading words, quite possibly in a variety of different colors.But color recall is not as automated; how often are you asked to name what color a word is? This requires much more cognitive effort than does reading, and thus results in the longer reaction time. Practical implications of this phenomenon are very important. Studies like the Strop Effect and other similar experiments show that one can learn to automate a process. No one knows how to ride a bike or drive a car before actually doing the activity.
But after so many times, after so many efforts exerted by the cognitive processes of the brain, the task becomes second nature.This method of learning could, in theory, be done for any mildly simple task, such as reciting a passage from a movie or book to more challenging tasks such as completing difficult math problems. What's important to note is that automatic is a matter of degree. This process cannot fully be executed unless one has put in enough cognitive effort in order for it to become automated.
If not enough cognitive effort is set aside to learn the task at hand, it will not be automatic, and cognitive processes will still have to put energy in he next time the task comes around.A good example of something that most likely will not become an automated process is filing your taxes. Unless you are an accountant and do it everyday, chances are next time the task rolls around, you will spend much energy in wondering how to fill out your tax forms. Possible complications about this process could arise if one has higher-than- average executive functioning.
These people are the ones who can take a test and do very well on it without having to study.This is because once they learn something once, it becomes automatic recall when they are asked about it weeks down the line. This is very minimal however, and most people will not fall under this category. Most people require practice in order to retain certain types of procedural information.
Automatic is an amazing talent that most people take for granted. They don't even realize that most of their automated processes are in fact that, because they no longer think about the task cognitively. I guess it Just goes to show that practice does indeed make perfect.