4 years ago

Mental ownership: Does mental rehearsal transform novel stimuli into mental possessions?

Mentally rehearsing unfamiliar first names for the purpose of categorizing them into a group produces both preference for and, more surprisingly, identification with the group of names (i.e., association of the names with self; Greenwald, Pickrell, & Farnham, 2002). The present research started as an effort to determine how these ‘implicit partisanship’ effects of stimulus exposures differed from the well-known mere exposure effect and whether mental rehearsal might play a role in both phenomena. Four experiments found that parallel effects on liking and association with self-occurred (a) more strongly for stimuli that were mentally rehearsed than for ones that were passively exposed, (b) equally for stimuli rehearsed individually versus categorized in groups, (c) consistently for both self-report and implicit measures, and (d) across substantial variations of stimulus types and of mental rehearsal procedures. The findings are interpreted as identifying a shared theoretical ingredient of implicit partisanship and mere exposure effects, linking these two effects more generally to phenomena of implicit self-esteem, including minimal group and mere ownership effects.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022103117300082

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