The role of attribution of motivation in producing postsuppressional rebound

Jens Förster*, Nira Liberman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Three studies demonstrated that postsuppressional rebound (PSR) may be both reduced and enhanced by manipulating people's attributions about why they experience difficulty during suppression. Telling participants that suppression failures indicate a high motivation to use the suppressed construct produced more PSR than telling them that suppression failures indicate a low motivation to use the construct (Study 1). Telling participants that an external stimulus would make suppression easy produced more PSR than telling them that it would make suppression difficult (Study 2). Telling participants that suppressing a stereotype is difficult and unindicative of prejudice eliminated PSR (Study 3). These results support the notion that PSR occurs because people infer from the difficulty experienced during suppression and from suppression failures that they are motivated to use the suppressed construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-390
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2001

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