Two studies examined nonconscious transference in social perception, defined as inferences about a new person based on a subliminally triggered significant-other representation (e.g., S. M. Andersen & S. W. Cole, 1990). In a nomothetic experimental paradigm involving idiographic stimuli, participants believed they were playing a computer game with another participant while exposed to subliminal descriptors from either their own, or a yoked participant's, significant other. In an impression-rating task, participants were more likely to infer that their "game partner" had significant-other features not subliminally presented when the subliminal cues described their own, rather than a yoked participant's, significant other. Another control condition in Study 1 ruled out self-generation effects. A subliminality check confirmed that stimuli were nonconscious. Hence, subliminal activation of significant-other representations and nonconscious transference occur.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science