McClelland and his colleagues first introduced the notion that spontaneously using the negation not in speech or writing indicates a stable tendency to restrain or inhibit motivational impulses, which they termed activity inhibition (AI). This chapter will start out with a brief summary of the history of the concept of AI and its measurement in verbal material, followed by an investigation of the role of AI in the expression of implicit motives and emotion regulation and some speculations about the developmental precursors of AI. Finally, the chapter presents a model that integrates the various findings on AI, suggesting that AI does not neutralize emotional or motivational impulses, but rather leads to their intensification and a delayed and refined expression in behavior.
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