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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Apr;92(4):596-611.

On the automatic evaluation of end-states.

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Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-7601, USA.


The author's research examined automatically activated attitudes toward desired end-states. Across 4 studies, participants' automatic attitudes toward goals (i.e., thinness, egalitarianism) significantly predicted their goal pursuit, including behaviors, intentions, and judgments. Such attitudes predicted behavior and judgments that are difficult to monitor and control (i.e., restrained eating, subtle prejudice), but not judgments that are easy to monitor and control (i.e., blatant prejudice). Automatic attitudes toward goals also possessed unique predictive validity compared with explicit measures of motivation and with automatic attitudes toward more physical, "graspable" objects. The findings are discussed with regard to the predictive validity of automatic attitudes, the use of automatic attitudes toward goals as an implicit measure of motivation, and the role of automatic evaluative processes in goal-pursuit and self-regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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