Automaticity is the ability to perform tasks without conscious thought. This is typically the result of learning, practice and knowledge that adapts the brain to a task such that it requires few mental resources to complete. The following are illustrative examples.
Muscle MemoryA physical task that initially requires conscious effort but falls into the background with practice such as typing on a keyboard, riding a bicycle or playing a music instrument.
LanguageLanguage skills such as reading initially require thought as a learner but later become almost automatic. For example, a fluent reader of English can read English fiction while thinking about the story leaving the technical complexity of understanding words and grammar to the subconscious.
Highway HypnosisHighway hypnosis occurs when a driver of a vehicle drives some distance in an apparently safe manner obeying traffic rules but then can't remember driving. For example, a driver who can't remember that they stopped to let a pedestrian cross at a crosswalk five minutes ago. This typically occurs during a boring drive when the mind drifts off in a daydream or when the driver is focused on a conversation. It is likely that highway hypnosis is somewhat unsafe because there are situations that arise that require mental attention.
Unconscious Competence It is sometimes claimed that certain tasks are better done without thought. For example, a free throw in basketball that gets worse when a player thinks about it. This implies that the subconscious has become better at a task than the conscious mind.
The Centipede's DilemmaThe Centipede's Dilemma is an often repeated story that originated in an 1871 poem by Katherine Craster. The story now has several variations all of which involve a toad asking a centipede how it walks. This throws the centipede into a state of confusion such that she can no longer walk.
IntuitionIntuition is the ability to judge a situation without conscious thought. This may allow an individual to make reasonable decisions at high speed without any apparent thought. For example, a surfer may intuitively know that a particular wave is trouble and choose to let it pass.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about thinking.
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.
A list of thinking approaches and types.
The definition of pessimism with examples.
The definition of groupthink with examples.
The definition of forward thinking with examples.
Common examples of grey areas.
An overview of thinking with examples.
The common types of metaphor.
The definition of angst with examples.
An overview of nostalgia with examples.
Rational thought is often somewhat logical but includes factors such as emotion, imagination, culture, language and social conventions.
The definition of benefit of doubt with examples.
The definition of intrapersonal with examples.
The definition of introspection with examples.
The definition of paradox with examples.
The definition of abstract concept with examples.
An overview of logical arguments with examples.
The definition of rational choice theory with examples.
The definition of reflective thinking with examples.
The definition of reason with examples.
TrendingThe most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.
Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
© 2010-2023 Simplicable. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of materials found on this site, in any form, without explicit permission is prohibited.
View credits & copyrights or citation information for this page.