Effects of Specific, Nonconscious Emotion Primes on Behavior

Yael Zemack-Rugar, Virginia Tech, USA
James R. Bettman, Duke University, USA
Current nonconscious emotion priming research considers positively versus negatively valenced affect. We demonstrate that specific, equally valenced subliminal emotion primes can remain unavailable to conscious awareness and affect behavior. In experiments 1 & 2 participants subliminally primed with a guilty emotion show lower indulgence and more helping than participants subliminally primed with a sad emotion. Participants in different emotion prime conditions show no differences in subjective emotion ratings and are unaware of the primes. Experiments 3 and 4 added a time delay manipulation and replicated these findings, suggesting that the nonconscious emotion prime effects found in this research are goal-driven.
[ to cite ]:
Yael Zemack-Rugar and James R. Bettman (2007) ,"Effects of Specific, Nonconscious Emotion Primes on Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 583-585.