Perversible Figures: An Ironic Process in Perception

Clarissa R. Slesar


Wegner and colleagues found an ironic hyperaccessibility to thoughts subjects were instructed to suppress under conditions of high cognitive load which they called The Ironic Effect. Wegner proposed that the Ironic Process underlying this effect entails the integration of two parallel processes: an effortful cognitive process which searches for distractors, and an automatic process which monitors the occurrence of the forbidden target thought (Wegner et al., 1987). We asked the question: Is there a perceptual analogue to the Ironic Effect?

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Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S., & White, T. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 5-13.


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