From reaction ('priming') to motivated selection: Changing conceptualizations of accessibility

Baruch Eitam, E. Tory Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The past few years have brought to light the weaknesses of social cognition in both paradigms and published results. Although for 'social priming' at least, the need for remedying these weaknesses has not diminished - the effort would benefit from a parallel increase in theoretical rigor. With this goal in mind the current paper charts the development of conceptions of mental accessibility from initial ideas of passive 'spread of activation' or of bottom-up increase in accessibility to a notion of accessibly that is sensitive to the organism's current goals, as well as other concerns. A relevance-based framework for mental accessibility can accommodate results as diverse as 'saying is believing' and relevance based-'blindness'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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