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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Oct;87(4):468-81.

From seeing to being: subliminal social comparisons affect implicit and explicit self-evaluations.

Author information

  • 1Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. d.a.stapel@ppsw.rug.nl

Abstract

The authors hypothesize that social comparisons can have automatic influences on self-perceptions. This was tested by determining whether subliminal exposure to comparison information influences implicit and explicit self-evaluation. Study 1 showed that subliminal exposure to social comparison information increased the accessibility of the self. Study 2 revealed that subliminal exposure to social comparison information resulted in a contrast effect on explicit self-evaluation. Study 3 showed that subliminal exposure to social comparison information affects self-evaluations more easily than it affects mood or evaluations of other people. Studies 4 and 5 replicated these self-evaluation effects and extended them to implicit measures. Study 6 showed that automatic comparisons are responsive to a person's perceptual needs, such that they only occur when people are uncertain about themselves. Implications for theories of social cognition, judgment, and comparison are discussed.

(c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved

PMID:
15491272
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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