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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Jul;91(1):154-70.

Discrepancies between explicit and implicit self-concepts: Consequences for information processing.

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Department of Social Psychology and Methodology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Individuals with discrepancies among their explicit beliefs often engage in greater elaboration of discrepancy-related information in a presumed attempt to reduce the discrepancy. The authors predicted that individuals with discrepancies between explicit and implicit self-conceptions might similarly be motivated to engage in processing of discrepancy-related information, even though they might not be aware of the discrepancy. Four studies were conducted in which various self-dimensions were assessed with explicit and implicit measures. Across several different self-dimensions (e.g., need to evaluate, self-esteem), the authors found that as the discrepancy between the explicit and implicit measure increased (regardless of direction), people engaged in more thinking about information framed as related to the self-dimension on which the discrepancy existed. This research suggests that individuals might be motivated to examine relevant information as a strategy to minimize the implicit doubt that accompanies an inconsistency between explicit and implicit self-conceptions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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