Experimental Test of Escape Theory: Accessibility to Implicit Suicidal Mind


Address correspondence to Danmin Miao, Department of Psychology, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 West Chang-Le Road, Xi′an, Shaanxi 710032, China; E-mail: fmmumiao@163.com


This study tested the Escape Theory prediction that individuals blaming themselves for failure experience increased accessibility to implicit suicidal mind. One hundred and thirty-eight undergraduate medical students were randomly assigned to three groups: failure-related priming, success-related priming, and control. Following experimental conditions, participants completed a death/suicide Implicit Association Test. Results revealed significant differences between groups in accessibility to implicit suicidal mind. Furthermore, priming manipulation interacted with individual differences in locus of control (LOC). Significant differences in accessibility to implicit suicidal mind were observed in individuals with internal LOC, while effects of priming manipulation were eliminated in individuals with external LOC.