The effects of nonconsciously priming emotion concepts on behavior.
Current empirical evidence regarding nonconsciously priming emotion concepts is limited to positively versus negatively valenced affect. This article demonstrates that specific, equally valenced emotion concepts can be nonconsciously activated, remain inaccessible to conscious awareness, and still affect behavior in an emotion-specific fashion. In Experiment 1A, participants subliminally primed with guilty emotion adjectives showed lower indulgence than did participants subliminally primed with sad emotion adjectives; even after the addition of a 5-min time delay, these results were replicated in Experiment 1B. Participants in the different priming conditions showed no differences in their subjective emotion ratings and were unaware of the emotion prime or concept activation. Experiments 2A and 2B replicated these findings using a helping measure, demonstrating that individuals primed with guilt adjectives show more helping than do individuals primed with sadness adjectives. In all studies, effects were moderated by individuals' specific emotion-response habits and characteristics.
Zemack-Rugar, Y; Bettman, JR; Fitzsimons, GJ
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