How motivational inferences influence post-suppressional rebound.

Jens Förster, Nira Liberman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


We present a motivational inference model (MIMO) of post-suppressional rebound (PSR), which proposes that suppression instructions activate the need to perform the suppressed activity and simultaneously prevent fulfillment of the need, as long as suppression is in effect. The need is inferred from experienced difficulty and failures of suppression. Along with theories on self-perception and the feelings as information approach, we assume that people can infer motivation from feelings of difficulty while processing information or acting. We summarize research demonstrating such inferential mechanism in the domain of decision-making. We then report studies using misattribution paradigms showing that PSR can be produced by inferences based on suppression difficulty and failures. We conclude that when suppression difficulty is attributed to one's own desire to do the forbidden task, PSR occurs; however, when it is attributed to an external source (e.g., a distractor) it is reduced. Finally, we discuss the findings in light of other theories and phenomena in the field and its implications for everyday life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in psychology research
Subtitle of host publication Vol. 34.
EditorsSerge P. Shohov
Place of PublicationHauppauge, NY, US
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)1594540799
StatePublished - 2005


  • Conditioned Suppression
  • Decision Making
  • Inference
  • Motivation


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