Expression after suppression: A motivational explanation of postsuppressional rebound

Nira Liberman*, Jens Förster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Five studies examined the effect of expressing a construct after suppressing it on subsequent accessibility. Suppression of color terms (Studies 1, 2, and 5) and of stereotypes (Studies 3 and 4) were examined. Both expression alone and suppression alone enhanced the construct's accessibility relative to the no-suppression/no-expression condition, demonstrating activation by recent construct use and postsuppressional rebound, respectively. However, introducing expression after suppression reduced accessibility relative to both the suppression alone and the expression alone conditions. These results are explained within a motivational theory of rebound, according to which suppressing a construct induces a need to use it, and subsequent expression satisfies this need, thereby instigating an inhibition of the accessibility of need-related constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


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