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The When and How of Evaluative Readiness: A Social Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective



In this article we consider the phenomenon of evaluative readiness, whereby the activation in memory of a goal leads to an unintentional increase in positivity toward stimuli that can facilitate the goal. We review four lines of work that together address the question of when goals lead to this kind of automatic shift in people’s attitudes. We then consider how contemporary models of cognition might explain this effect. We review whether dual systems models and single interacting system models can explain the phenomenon of evaluative readiness. Based on recent work in cognitive psychology and computational neuroscience, we then argue for the potential explanatory value of turning to a multiple interacting systems framework for explaining the phenomenon of evaluative readiness.