Guest Lecture: Alon Goldstein
"High Level Non-Conscious Representations"
Alon Goldstein (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Contemporary methods infer the content of high-level mental representations from direct conscious questions, or from indirect behavioral responses or physiological measures. Both routes provide limited and partial information: while direct-conscious answers are bounded by the narrow scope of consciousness and its limited processing abilities, indirect measures suffer from their unidimensional structure and inability to gauge specific aspects of the representation.
We developed, for the first time, a direct, verbal measure of non-conscious high-level mental representations. In a series of experiments, participants were subliminally presented with yes/no questions, and provided answers, without being aware of the questions’ content. This new paradigm allows us to conduct Q&A sessions without participants' consciousness interference and without the limitations imposed by indirect measures.