Self-directed attention, awareness of bodily states, and suggestibility

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Two studies tested the hypothesis that self-directed attention would cause increased awareness of internal states and would thus reduce suggestibility effects. Exp I applied this reasoning to the experience of an emotion. 55 male undergraduates viewed moderately arousing slides of female nudes after being led to expect the slides to be either highly arousing or nonarousing. As predicted, ratings of the slides corresponded less with these experimentally manipulated anticipations when self-focus was heightened by the presence of a mirror than when it was not. Exp II examined a different internal experience: the perception of taste. Ss were 41 male and 31 female undergraduates. Some Ss were led to expect a strong flavor as part of a test series, and other Ss were led to expect a weak flavor. Ss high in private self-consciousness (assessed by the A. Fenigstein et al 1975 scale) were less affected by this expectancy manipulation and more accurate in reporting their actual internal state than Ss low in private self-consciousness. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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