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      Consequences of Automatic Evaluation: Immediate Behavioral Predispositions to Approach or Avoid the Stimulus

      1 , 1

      Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

      SAGE Publications

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          Most cited references 24

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          On the automatic activation of attitudes.

          We hypothesized that attitudes characterized by a strong association between the attitude object and an evaluation of that object are capable of being activated from memory automatically upon mere presentation of the attitude object. We used a priming procedure to examine the extent to which the mere presentation of an attitude object would facilitate the latency with which subjects could indicate whether a subsequently presented target adjective had a positive or a negative connotation. Across three experiments, facilitation was observed on trials involving evaluatively congruent primes (attitude objects) and targets, provided that the attitude object possessed a strong evaluative association. In Experiments 1 and 2, preexperimentally strong and weak associations were identified via a measurement procedure. In Experiment 3, the strength of the object-evaluation association was manipulated. The results indicated that attitudes can be automatically activated and that the strength of the object-evaluation association determines the likelihood of such automatic activation. The implications of these findings for a variety of issues regarding attitudes--including their functional value, stability, effects on later behavior, and measurement--are discussed.
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            Asymmetrical effects of positive and negative events: the mobilization-minimization hypothesis.

            Negative (adverse or threatening) events evoke strong and rapid physiological, cognitive, emotional, and social responses. This mobilization of the organism is followed by physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that damp down, minimize, and even erase the impact of that event. This pattern of mobilization-minimization appears to be greater for negative events than for neutral or positive events. Theoretical accounts of this response pattern are reviewed. It is concluded that no single theoretical mechanism can explain the mobilization-minimization pattern, but that a family of integrated process models, encompassing different classes of responses, may account for this pattern of parallel but disparately caused effects.
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              Affect, cognition, and awareness: affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures.

              The affective primacy hypothesis (R. B. Zajonc, 1980) asserts that positive and negative affective reactions can be evoked with minimal stimulus input and virtually no cognitive processing. The present work tested this hypothesis by comparing the effects of affective and cognitive priming under extremely brief (suboptimal) and longer (optimal) exposure durations. At suboptimal exposures only affective primes produced significant shifts in Ss' judgments of novel stimuli. These results suggest that when affect is elicited outside of conscious awareness, it is diffuse and nonspecific, and its origin and address are not accessible. Having minimal cognitive participation, such gross and nonspecific affective reactions can therefore be diffused or displaced onto unrelated stimuli. At optimal exposures this pattern of results was reversed such that only cognitive primes produced significant shifts in judgments. Together, these results support the affective primacy hypothesis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
                Pers Soc Psychol Bull
                SAGE Publications
                0146-1672
                1552-7433
                July 02 2016
                February 1999
                July 02 2016
                February 1999
                : 25
                : 2
                : 215-224
                Affiliations
                [1 ]New York University
                Article
                10.1177/0146167299025002007
                © 1999

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