The perceptual push: The interplay of implicit cues and explicit situational construals on behavioral intentions in the prisoner's dilemma
Although it is clear that nonconscious primes can affect behavioral decisions, the extent to which the prime-to-behavior link is mediated by intervening interpretative processes is still unknown. The present research examined the mediational role of "situational construals" by assessing the effects of cooperative versus competitive primes on participants' construals of, and responses to, the prisoner's dilemma. As predicted, this priming manipulation influenced participants' construals of the game (assessed by the participants' ratings of the appropriateness of different "names for the game" and their estimates of how random others would play), and their own expressed willingness to cooperate versus defect. Most crucially, a mediational analysis and a manipulation of the order in which these dependent variables were measured established that the prime-to-behavior link can be strengthened by an intervening task calling for explicit construal of the situation. The interplay of situational construal and implicit primes in producing deliberative behavior is discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
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