Implicit self and affect regulation: Effects of sublimal self-activation and action orientation in an affective priming task

S.L. Koole, L. Coenen

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    Abstract

    Two studies examined the impact of subliminal self-activation on affect regulation among action- versus state-oriented individuals. Action orientation is a regulatory mode characterized by decisiveness and initiative, whereas state orientation is a regulatory mode characterized by indecisiveness and hesitation. According to the model of intuitive affect regulation (Koole & Kuhl, in press), action-oriented individuals have stronger associations between the implicit self and affect regulation systems than state-oriented individuals. This prediction was tested in an affective priming task (Fazio, Sanbonmatsu, Powell, & Kardes, 1986). As expected, subliminal self primes triggered down-regulation of negative affect among action-oriented participants. By contrast, subliminal self primes triggered persistence of negative affect among state-oriented participants. Supraliminal self primes had no parallel effects. The implicit self may thus play a key role in affect regulation and volitional action control.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-136
    Number of pages19
    JournalSelf and Identity
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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