The Luminous Landscape has a brief, but good article about taking control of the auto settings in Adobe Camera Raw.
I use this trick myself. While I sometimes use the automatic settings as a starting point for processing my images, I find it helpful to begin the process with the image as it appeared in the camera. Once you have changed your defaults so that no adjustments are initially made, it is a quick press of Command/Control + U and you can see the automatic conversion. Going the other way involves a few more button presses.
And like Michael Reichmann notes in the article, it is often the case that the automatic adjustments flatten bracketed exposures into separate images that all look the same. It’s much simpler to view these images initially in their original state than it is to have to uncheck all the boxes that have been adjusted by the auto processing.