Aggressive, funny, and thirsty: A motivational inference model (MIMO) approach to behavioral rebound

Markus Denzler*, Jens Förster, Nira Liberman, Merav Rozenman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rebound of thoughts after thought suppression is widely documented. Much less is known about the effects of suppression on rebound of behavior. The current studies show that suppressing thoughts (Experiment 1 and 2) and suppressing behavior (Experiment 3) may cause rebound of behavior. In Experiment 1 suppressing thoughts of thirst rebounded in enhanced drinking, in Experiment 2 suppressing aggressive thoughts rebounded in subsequent aggression, and in Experiment 3 suppressing laughter rebounded in enhanced subsequent laughing. Supporting the Motivational Inference Model of postsuppressional rebound, the studies show that behavioral rebound is reduced if participants are led to believe that suppression is difficult for everybody (Experiments 1 and 2). Also consistent with this model is the finding that motivation to do the suppressed behavior mediated rebound (Experiment 3). The implications for rebound of unwanted behaviors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1396
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2010


  • motivation
  • rebound effect
  • suppression of behavior
  • thought suppression


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