Automatic thinking has five features: nonconscious, fast, unintentional, uncontrollable, and effortless (e.g., the tendency to categorize and stereotype others). The process of automatic stereotyping is probably innate; the content of the stereotypes is not. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 52-53. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

Part of one's day is spent in a state of hyperconsciousness (e.g., logical, rational, decision-oriented, verbal mode) in which one foreces the mind to attend. At other times, one operates in an altered state of consciousness. THink of it as the "automatic pilot effect" (e.g., you are driving and many miles have gone by outside conscious awareness). Most of what one is capable of is determined by part of the mind of which you can never become aware: the unconscious mind. (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.398-400. PA:Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

The tendency to categorize and stereotype other people is an example of automatic thinking, which is likely innate. The brain is prewired to fit people into categories. The content of one’s stereotypes is not innate, however. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 52-53. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)