Quick Definition: Auto-appraisers are hardwired emotional responses to external and internal stimuli.
Full Definition: According to the psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman, automatic appraisers are embedded into our evolutionary programming and are an intergral part of our survival mechanism. His theory is that because the interval between stimuli and resulting emotions is so short, our appraisal system should be able to function quickly and without any conscious awareness. Our automatic appraisal mechanism is what enables us to respond emotionally to complex situations that have a huge bearing on our well being within a matter of micro seconds.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s easy to see how our automatic appraisal mechanism is useful to our survival. For example, if humans took a few seconds to observe an animal charging towards them and have the appropriate emotional response of fear, we would be extinct by now.
From the perspective of a pickup artist, it’s important to be aware of our automatic appraisal mechanisms because of the influence they have on our emotions. For example, when approaching a strange woman, our automatic appraisal mechanism might instantly appraise the situation and the possibility of rejection and create an emotional response of fear. But what our automatic appraisal system doesn’t tell us is that this fear is often a remnant from our formative years of evolution when rejection by a potential mate could mean being rejected by all other potential mates in a tribe. By being more aware of our automatic appraisal mechanism, and by perceiving the initial stimuli with a broader perspective, we can check our instinctive emotional responses and leave room for our conscious mind to take over. This is like cross-checking and evaluating our instinctive emotional responses to a particular situation and if need be, reacting consciously.
Usage: By being aware of your automatic appraisal mechanism, you can react consciously rather than instinctively.