Shiffrin and Schneider (1977) proposed a dual processing model which divides human information processing into two types:
Automatic processing is activation of a learned sequence of elements in long-term memory that is initiated by appropriate inputs and then proceeds automatically – without subject control, without stressing the capacity limitation of the system, and without necessarily demanding attention. Controlled processing is a temporary activation of a sequence of elements that can be set up quickly and easily but requires attention, is capacity-limited (usually serial in nature), and is controlled by the subject.
(Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977).
Compare automatic and controlled processing.
Read and reflect: Automaticity