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Abstract

Over the past few decades, dual attitude/process/system models have emerged as the dominant framework for understanding a wide range of psychological phenomena. Most of these models characterize the unconscious and conscious mind as being built from discrete processes or systems: one that is reflexive, automatic, fast, affective, associative, and primitive, and a second that is deliberative, controlled, slow, cognitive, propositional, and more uniquely human. Although these models serve as a useful heuristic for characterizing the human mind, recent developments in social and cognitive neuroscience suggest that the human evaluative system, like most of cognition, is widely distributed and highly dynamic. Integrating these advances with current attitude theories, we review how the recently proposed Iterative Reprocessing Model can account for apparent dual systems as well as discrepancies between traditional dual system models and recent research revealing the dynamic nature of evaluation. Furthermore, we describe important implications this dynamical system approach has for various social psychological domains.