Recent accounts suggest that prime-to-behavior effects are mediated by changes to the active self-concept. Likewise, recent reports of post-suppression behavioral rebound have attributed changes to behavior to changes in the self-concept. According to such accounts, whenever an activated trait or stereotype can be easily incorporated into the active self, behavioral assimilation (i.e., behavior consistent with the activated concept) is likely to ensue. Yet, little evidence has emerged to directly support the mediating role of changes to the self-concept. The present research was designed to examine whether changes to the active self-concept are responsible for changes in behavior following stereotype suppression and priming. Participants who suppressed or were primed with stereotypes of the elderly were more likely to endorse stereotypic traits as self-descriptive and to behave in stereotypic ways. Critically, the former effect significantly mediated the latter. Implications for theories of concept activation and behavior are discussed. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Stereotype suppression
- Active self