- On the (un)controllability of affective priming: strategic manipulation is feasible but can possibly be prevented
- Cognition & Emotion
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Three studies are presented that explored if and to what extent affective priming effects in a standard affective priming paradigm are susceptible to voluntary control. Specifically, it was tested was whether participants were able to eliminate or amplify affective priming effects when instructed to do so. In Experiment 1, it was shown that participants were successful in implementing manipulation instructions to decrease or eliminate the effect. Experiment 2 showed that such manipulation attempts succeeded in the opposite direction too, with participants voluntarily enhancing priming effects. Furthermore, it was shown that such manipulation effects could only partly be prevented by shortening duration of prime presentation and stimulus onset asynchrony between prime and target. The first two studies thus proved the susceptibility of the affective priming paradigm to spontaneous and strategic manipulation intentions of participants. However, when a moderate time pressure was induced by implementing a response deadline in Experiment 3, manipulation efforts failed. Implications of these results for the application of the affective priming paradigm in attitude research, specifically in socially sensitive domains, are discussed.
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