Controlling your mind without ironic consequences: Self-affirmation eliminates rebound effects after thought suppression

S.L. Koole, A. van Knippenberg

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Thought suppression can ironically lead to a rebound of unwanted thoughts [Wegner, D. M. (1994). Ironic processes of mental control. Psychological Review, 101, 34-52.]. The present research explored whether self-affirmation may eliminate rebound effects after thought suppression. Participants either suppressed or used stereotypes in an impression formation task. Subsequently, self-affirmation was manipulated by providing participants with positive or neutral personality feedback, and stereotype accessibility was assessed. The results showed that suppression led to a rebound of stereotypic associations among neutral-feedback participants, but not among positive-feedback participants. The authors conclude that self-affirmation enhances the efficiency of mental control. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)671-677
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Volume43
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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