Anger Enhances Correspondence Between Implicit and Explicit Attitudes

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Abstract

The goal of the current research was to subject to empirical examination the idea that the experience of anger would narrow the separation between implicit and explicit attitudes. Specifically, the tendency of anger to promote a sense of certainty in one's point of view was predicted to enhance the subjective validity of implicit attitudes, and that this validation of implicit attitudes by anger should increase implicit–explicit attitude correspondence. Consistent with these predictions, across three experiments, anger, as compared with neutral emotion (Experiments 1–3) and sad emotion (Experiments 1–2), was found to increase implicit–explicit attitude correspondence. Appraisals of certainty, but not individual control, mediated the effect of anger on implicit–explicit correspondence (Experiment 3). More generally, these results imply that anger may play an essential, but until now overlooked, role in directing the interplay between spontaneous and deliberative aspects of the self.

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