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Your Unconscious Knows Your Name

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-75304
  • One’s own name constitutes a unique part of conscious awareness – but does this also hold true for unconscious processing? The present study shows that the own name has the power to bias a person’s actions unconsciously even in conditions that render any other name ineffective. Participants judged whether a letter string on the screen was a name or a non-word while this target stimulus was preceded by a masked prime stimulus. Crucially, the participant’s own name was among these prime stimuli and facilitated reactions to following name targetsOne’s own name constitutes a unique part of conscious awareness – but does this also hold true for unconscious processing? The present study shows that the own name has the power to bias a person’s actions unconsciously even in conditions that render any other name ineffective. Participants judged whether a letter string on the screen was a name or a non-word while this target stimulus was preceded by a masked prime stimulus. Crucially, the participant’s own name was among these prime stimuli and facilitated reactions to following name targets whereas the name of another, yoked participant did not. Signal detection results confirmed that participants were not aware of any of the prime stimuli, including their own name. These results extend traditional findings on ‘‘breakthrough’’ phenomena of personally relevant stimuli to the domain of unconscious processing. Thus, the brain seems to possess adroit mechanisms to identify and process such stimuli even in the absence of conscious awareness.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Roland Pfister, Carsten Pohl, Andrea Kiesel, Wilfried Kunde
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-75304
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Philosophische Fakultät III (bis Sept. 2007) / Institut für Psychologie
Language:English
Year of Completion:2012
Source:In: PLoS One (2012) 7: 3, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032402
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
GND Keyword:Psychologie
Release Date:2013/03/18
Collections:Open-Access-Publikationsfonds / Förderzeitraum 2012
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung