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Psychology Glossary

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Automatic Processing

Automatic processing is sort of like muscle memory. When you start to do something that you have done many times, and you can complete it successfully without giving it any thought, that's automatic processing. It can actually be disruptive to begin to think about the process once it has started automatically. If you have ever played the piano, or knitted a scarf, you know how your hands seem to move on their own while your mind goes somewhere else. When you look back at your music or yarn, you might lose your place and stumble over the next steps, interrupting the automatic process.

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