Activating transference without consciousness: Using significant-other representations to go beyond what is subliminally given

Noah S. Glassman, Susan M. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1162
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume77
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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