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The effect of subliminal activation of attitudes towards the self on reported frequencies of negative thoughts about the self

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The effect of subliminal activation of attitudes towards the self on reported frequencies of negative thoughts about the self

Alfonsi, Giuseppe (2007) The effect of subliminal activation of attitudes towards the self on reported frequencies of negative thoughts about the self. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The goal of the present studies was to investigate the relation between attitudes towards the self (i.e., self-esteem) and self-reported frequencies of negative thoughts about the self as measured by the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ; Hollon & Kendall, 1980). It is argued that participant responses on the ATQ are less likely to be guided, as is commonly thought, by memory retrieval than by reference to participant self-esteem. In Study 1, subliminal presentations of pairs of words were used to activate self-esteem. The presented pair of words consisted of one word referring to the self (i.e, Me ) and another word that was either a positive (e.g., Great ) or negative adjective (e.g., Ugly ). Self-esteem, frequency of negative thoughts about the self and private self-consciousness was assessed. Contrary to what was hypothesized, no difference was found in self-esteem or reported ideation across priming groups. Unexpectedly, participants presented with positive primes reported higher private self-consciousness that those presented with negative primes. In a replication, a control group was added in which participants were subliminally presented a string of random consonants as opposed to words. No significant differences were observed. The failure to replicate the significant difference for private self-consciousness across priming groups is discussed. Given that self-esteem was not affected, the central hypothesis of the study remains untested. Reasons for the failure of the subliminal priming method as well as alternative approaches for self-esteem activation are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Alfonsi, Giuseppe
Pagination:viii, 77 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Conway, Michael
ID Code:975287
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:05
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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