The Effect of Nonconscious Goal Conflict on Goal-Related Behavior

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Abstract

The current research tested the effects of nonconscious goal conflict on goal-related behavior. More specifically, the current research was designed to test whether an order effect of nonconscious priming would be seen. Semantic priming would predict a recency effect if the frequency of the primes was constant. Goal systems theory and nonconscious goal pursuit research would predict a primacy effect. Analyses revealed when both primes were active, participants displayed goal-related behaviors congruent with the first goal primed. The primacy effect seen in the current data was theorized to occur due to goal shielding where competing goals are inhibited so as to not take attention or resources from the current goal pursuit. Other analyses showed classic contrast effects in accordance with goal systems theory.

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