The nonconsciousness of self-consciousness

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Aug;83(2):406-24. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.83.2.406.


Five studies demonstrated that private self-consciousness is associated with nonconscious, automatic behaviors. In 2 studies, high but not low self-conscious individuals walked more slowly following exposure to an implicit elderly prime. In a 3rd study, high but not low self-conscious individuals showed improved performance following exposure to a subliminal success prime relative to a subliminal failure prime. In a 4th study, subliminal exposure to an angry prime was shown to increase blood pressure relative to a relax prime. In a final study, the latter effect was shown to be true only for high self-conscious individuals and only for subliminal presentations. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding a variety of effects associated with self-consciousness and self-awareness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Awareness*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Theory
  • Reaction Time
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Stereotyping
  • Subliminal Stimulation
  • United States
  • Word Association Tests