A memory systems model of implicit social cognition

David M. Amodio, Kyle G. Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implicit social cognition refers to the mental processes that influence social perception and behavior independently of conscious awareness. To date, implicit social processes have been explained by single-system models of associations among concepts that, while addressing questions of information processing, are generally silent regarding the interface of implicit social processes with behavior. In this article, we present a multisystem model of implicit social cognition based on emerging cognitive neuroscience research on systems of learning and memory. This model describes how different underlying memory systems, characterized by different patterns of learning, unlearning, and behavioral expression, may contribute to implicit social processes. We describe how the memory systems model differs from previous theories of implicit social cognition and how it makes new and increasingly refined predictions regarding implicit sociocognitive processes and their influences on behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • attitudes
  • implicit
  • memory systems
  • social cognition
  • stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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