When do primes prime? The moderating role of the self-concept in individuals' susceptibility to priming effects on social behavior
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Using cooperative behavior in economic decision-making settings, we predicted and found that people's susceptibility to priming influences is moderated by two factors: people's chronic accessibility to a behavioral repertoire and people's self-concept activation. In Experiment 1, we show that individuals highly consistent in their social value orientation (SVO) assimilate their behavior to their dispositions rather than to the primes, whereas the opposite effect is obtained among individuals with a low consistent SVO. In Experiment 2, we show that low consistent SVO individuals become less susceptible to priming influences when their self-concept is activated. These studies shed new light on individuals' susceptibility to priming influences on social behavior.