Higher order influences on evaluative priming: Processing styles moderate congruity effects.

Cognition & emotion

PubMedID: 26361264

Alexopoulos T, Lemonnier A, Fiedler K. Higher order influences on evaluative priming: Processing styles moderate congruity effects. Cogn Emot. 2015;1-12.
A growing body of research challenges the automaticity of evaluative priming (EP). The present research adds to this literature by suggesting that EP is sensitive to processing styles. We relied on previous research showing that EP is determined by the extent to which the prime and the target events on a given trial are processed as a unified compound. Here, we further hypothesised that processing styles encouraging the inclusion of the prime to the target episode support congruity effects, whereas processing styles that enhance the exclusion of the prime from the target episode interrupt (or reverse) these effects. In Experiment 1, a preceding similarity search task produced a congruity effect, whereas a dissimilarity search task eliminated and (non-significantly) reversed this effect. In Experiments 2 and 3, we replicated and extended these findings using a global/local processing manipulation. Overall, these findings confirm that EP is flexible, open to top-down influences and strategic regulation.