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Saying 'no' to unwanted thoughts: Self-focus and regulation of mental life, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Abstract

Drawing from models of mental control and cognitive self-regulation, it was hypothesized that heightened self-focus would promote the spontaneous suppression of social stereotypes. Participants who were induced to experience heightened self-focus indeed produced less stereotypic descriptions of social targets (Study 14). Study 5 further demonstrated that self-focus produced reductions in stereotyping only among those participants whose personal standards dictated stereotype avoidance. A final study demonstrated that these spontaneous forms of stereotype suppression can produce a rebound effect, in which the magnitude of stereotyping increases markedly after a period of suppression. These findings are considered in the context of contemporary issues in mental control and social stereotyping.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Galen Bodenhausen

Date Published

1998

Citations

Bodenhausen, Galen. 1998. Saying 'no' to unwanted thoughts: Self-focus and regulation of mental life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 75(3): 578-589.

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