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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2013 Mar;39(3):375-86. doi: 10.1177/0146167212475225.

Intention invention and the affect misattribution procedure: reply to Bar-Anan and Nosek (2012).

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Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


A recent study of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) found that participants who retrospectively reported that they intentionally rated the primes showed larger effect sizes and higher reliability. The study concluded that the AMP's validity depends on intentionally rating the primes. We evaluated this conclusion in three experiments. First, larger effect sizes and higher reliability were associated with (incoherent) retrospective reports of both (a) intentionally rating the primes and (b) being unintentionally influenced by the primes. A second experiment manipulated intentions to rate the primes versus targets and found that this manipulation produced systematically different effects. Experiment 3 found that giving participants an option to "pass" when they felt they were influenced by primes did not reduce priming. Experimental manipulations, rather than retrospective self-reports, suggested that participants make post hoc confabulations to explain their responses. There was no evidence that validity in the AMP depends on intentionally rating primes.

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