I like it, because I like myself: Associative self-anchoring and post-decisional change of implicit evaluations

Bertram Gawronski*, Galen V Bodenhausen, Andrew P. Becker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research in the cognitive dissonance tradition has shown that choosing between two equally attractive alternatives leads to more favorable evaluations of chosen as compared to rejected alternatives (spreading-of-alternatives effect). The present research tested associative self-anchoring as an alternative mechanism for post-decisional changes of implicit evaluations. Specifically, we argue that choosing an object results in the creation of an association between the chosen object and the self. By virtue of this association, implicit evaluations of the self tend to transfer to the chosen object, such that implicit evaluations of the chosen object depend on implicit evaluations of the self. Importantly, this mechanism can lead to ownership-related changes in implicit evaluations even in the absence of cognitive dissonance. Results from four experiments provide converging evidence for these assumptions. Implications for a variety of phenomena are discussed, including cognitive dissonance, the mere ownership effect, the endowment effect, and ingroup favoritism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Keywords

  • Associative processes
  • Attitude change
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Implicit measures
  • Self-anchoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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