ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (11): 1829-1836.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01829

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles    

Unconscious Goal Prime: Definition, Mechanism and Application

LIAO Dongsheng; YANG Fang; ZHANG Jingxuan   

  1. (Laboratory of Military Psychology, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410074, China)
  • Received:2014-03-08 Online:2014-11-15 Published:2014-11-15
  • Contact: LIAO Dongsheng, E-mail:


Similar to social attitude, stereotype and schemata, unconscious goal is a kind of representation in individuals' brain which reflects the satisfactions to and results of behaviors, including goal setting, context and means of goal pursuit. The unconscious goals can be activated by stimuli coming from the environment, and thereafter affect human's behavior without the participation of consciousness. The definition of unconscious goal priming is different from priming due to other psychological representations. Unconscious goal priming is able to induce motivational behavior and the effect of priming cue does not fade over time. The independent variables of unconscious goal priming are related to the subject’s psychological states and the influence from others. The dependent variables of unconscious goal priming are related to the performances of tasks and the social relationships. The “perception-behavior model”, “unconscious behavior choice model”, “evaluation preparing model” and “affect factors model” explain the psychological mechanism of unconscious goal priming from the perspectives of “unconscious” and “goal”. Unconscious goal priming can be applied to a wide range of fields such as business, education and health care. In order to advance the theory and application of unconscious goal priming, the researches related to its neural mechanism should be emphasized.

Key words: unconscious goal, independent variables, denpendent variables, psychological mechanism