Inhibition in goal systems:a retrieval-induced forgetting account

McCulloch, Kathleen Cameron and Aarts, Henk and Fujita, Kentaro and Bargh, John A. (2008) Inhibition in goal systems:a retrieval-induced forgetting account. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (3). pp. 857-865. ISSN 0022-1031

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In social psychological models of goals, particular means or goals that receive more activation are pursued while their counterparts are "inhibited." To account for inhibition, these theories emphasize structural distribution of resources and the consequences of goal or means choices. Absent are alternate accounts of inhibition based on memory processes that rely on retrieval or recall of items. We propose that the act of recalling means or goals from memory entails inhibition of competing alternatives. Two experiments using repeated retrieval paradigms present evidence that recalling one means associated with a particular goal inhibits competing means. Moreover, this inhibitory mechanism is sensitive to the structural relationship of goals and means. Implications for models of inhibition in goal pursuit are discussed.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
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21 Aug 2012 10:08
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 22:47