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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (6) : 789-796     DOI:
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Self-Concept Threat and Comparison with Important Others Weaken Self-Face Advantage Altogether
GUAN Li-Li;ZHANG Qing-Lin;QI Ming-Ming;HOU Yan;YANG Juan
(School of Psychology, Southwest University; Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400715, China)
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Abstract  Self-face recognition is an experimental paradigm of self-referential processing wherein people can recognize their own face by distinguishing it from another’s face. Previous research indicates people respond faster to their own than anothers’ face, but mechanisms underlying the phenomenon are not clear. Implicit Positive Association Theory (IPA theory) hypothesizes that self-face recognition and the concomitant self-awareness activate positive attributes in self-concept, which facilitate behavioral responses to self-face recognition. As a result, self-concept threat (SCT) can be used to weaken self-face recognition advantages. Previous research used tasks designed to discriminate face orientation of self and familiars who are so important for us that we couldn’t control us to compare with them when we view them. The present study was aim to further investigate that self-concept threat and the comparison with important others eliminate the self-face advantage altogether.
Experiment 1 was a ‘self-friend’ comparison experiment in which 10 pairs of participants were recruited based on scores on a friend intimacy questionnaire and responded to self and friend’s face following self-concept threat or non-threat priming procedures. Reaction time and accuracy were measured and analyzed using repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with Hand (left vs. right), Priming (self-concept threat vs. non- threat priming) and Face (self vs. friend) as within-subjects variables. Analyses revealed participants did not respond faster to own-face than the friend’s face after self-concept threat but responded faster to their own-face than the friend’s face after the non-threat priming. Hence, the self-concept threat inhibited self-face advantage when participants responded to self and friend’s face. Moreover, the SCT effect only occurred when responses were made with the left hand.
Experiment 2 was a ‘self-stranger’ comparison experiment. In which 20 participants were recruited and responsed to self versus stranger faces following a self-concept threat or non-threat priming procedure. Reaction time and accuracy were measured and analyzed as per Experiment 1. Participants responded faster to their own-face than the stranger’s face after self-concept threat and non-threat priming, indicating self-concept threat did not weaken the self-face advantage in the design. Once again, this effect was stronger for the left than the right hand.
In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that self-concept threat and comparison with important others eliminated the self-face advantage altogether. Isolation of the effect to responses from the left hand may have been indicative of right hemispheric dominates in regulation of self-face recognition.
Keywords IPA theory      self-face advantage      self-concept threat      contrast effect      dominant hemispheric     
Corresponding Authors: YANG Juan   
Issue Date: 28 June 2012
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GUAN Li-Li
ZHANG Qing-Lin
QI Ming-Ming
HOU Yan
YANG Juan
Cite this article:   
GUAN Li-Li,ZHANG Qing-Lin,QI Ming-Ming, et al. Self-Concept Threat and Comparison with Important Others Weaken Self-Face Advantage Altogether[J]. , 2012, 44(6): 789-796.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2012/V44/I6/789
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