Ironic effects of thought suppression: a meta-analysis

Wang, Deming, Hagger, Martin S., and Chatzisarantis, Nikos L.D. (2020) Ironic effects of thought suppression: a meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science. (In Press)

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Abstract

The ironic effect of thought suppression refers to the phenomenon in which individuals trying to rid their mind of a target thought ironically experience greater levels of occurrence and accessibility of the thought compared to individuals that deliberately concentrate on the thought (Wegner, 1994). Ironic effects occurring after thought suppression, also known as rebound effects, have been consistently detected by previous meta-analyses. However, ironic effects that occur during thought suppression, also known as immediate enhancement effects, have been found to be largely absent. In the current meta-analysis, we test Wegner’s original proposition that detection of immediate enhancement effects is dependent on the cognitive load experienced by individuals when enacting thought suppression. Given that thought suppression is an effortful cognitive process, it is proposed that the introduction of additional cognitive load would compete for the allocation of existing cognitive resources and impair capacity for thought suppression. Studies (k = 31) consistent with Wegner’s original thought suppression paradigm were analysed. Consistent with our predictions, rebound effects were observed regardless of cognitive load while immediate enhancement effects were only observed in the presence of cognitive load. Implications are discussed in light of ironic process theory and suggestions for future thought suppression research provided.

Item ID: 60795
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1745-6924
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 02:18
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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