Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Automatic Information Processing

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_494



Automatic information processing refers to a mental cognitive process with the following characteristics: it is fast, parallel, efficient, requires little cognitive effort, and does not require active control or attention by the subject. This type of processing is the result of repetitive training on the same task. Once learned, an automatic response is difficult to suppress, modify, or ignore. Automatic information processing is used for skilled tasks and is considered to be the opposite process to controlled information processing.

Theoretical Background

During the 1950s the field of cognitive psychology focused on the capacity limits of human information processing, such as how the brain treats incoming information (stimuli). In 1958, the British psychologist Broadbent introduced a significant model of information processing and was one of the first to draw a distinction between automatic and controlled processes. Automatic...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Clinical NeuropsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway