What is Priming?

Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects. It refers to activating particular representations or associations in memory just before carrying out an action or task. For example, a person who sees the word "yellow" will be slightly faster to recognize the word "banana." This happens because yellow and banana are closely associated in memory. Additionally, priming can also refer to a technique in psychology used to train a person's memory in both positive and negative ways.

Recent Posts on Priming

Tossing the Soap

By Judith E Glaser on February 22, 2015 in Conversational Intelligence
When you are playing at Level III you are at the top of your game – in fact you expand the game beyond the obvious – stretching your ‘toss’ to reach farther with others – opening the space for better tosses and better adjustments as you co-create for mutual success.

Why We Remember What We Want to Remember

When public figures erroneously report on events that didn’t actually happen in their lives, the whole world knows about it. However, false memories are a common occurrence in everyone’s day-to-day thinking. Remembering what you want to remember may be more a matter of identity than of failing memory.

Creativity and Multicultural Experiences

In a recent study, children whose parents were born in different countries were generally more creative than children whose parents were born in the same country. The mystery is why.

Surprising yet Simple Tips for Making a Love Connection

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in The Social Thinker
Three simple tips for increasing your attractiveness while on a date

10 Ways to Relieve Stress in 5 Minutes or Less

The way we work is broken when scores of talented people can’t attend to their basic human needs. Until the larger systemic issues are fixed, these and other stories continue to push me to create stress-relief strategies that can actually be incorporated in your super-hectic day. Here are 10 such strategies to try when you have 5 minutes or less.

Who Uses Their Head and Who Listens to Their Heart?

Whether a person identifies with their head or their heart can say a lot about their personality. Are people in their heads really smarter than those in their hearts? The head/heart distinction might reveal something about how personality and intelligence are related. Shifting a person's attention between the head or the heart might change the way they think and behave.

Beat the Blue Monday Blues with these Behaviour Change Clues

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on January 19, 2015 in Happiness by Design
It’s Blue Monday today, which is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. There is likely to be a lot going around on the web about how to think yourself happy. But it is very difficult to change the way that you think. So instead, here are some tips to change the way you behave to beat the Blue Monday blues.

Why Cravings Occur

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Science of Choice
For addicts, the trouble begins once they decide to give up the addiction.

7 Ways You Can Help Your Partner Reach Their Goals

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in Close Encounters
Most advice on pursuing goals focuses on what you can do to achieve your own aims. But how can you help those you love to achieve their goals? Relationship partners play an important role in helping or hindering our progress toward our goals.

Do You Use Sarcasm in E-mails?

By Daniel Voyer Ph.D. on January 02, 2015 in Perceptual Asymmetries
Do you use sarcasm in e-mails and text messages? Your messages might be as clear as mud!

How to Teach Your Children Generosity During the Holidays

By Tamar Chansky Ph.D on December 14, 2014 in Worry Wise
Self-centeredness and generosity are not mutually exclusive; they are more like next-door neighbors. In other words, your child has the capacity for both. It may drive us crazy to hear the gimmes, but if we want our kids to learn generosity, we’ll be better served to pause, exhale and teach our kids to feel good about giving.

Bankers More Likely to Lie

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on December 09, 2014 in Hidden Motives
When bankers are reminded they are bankers, a new study has found, they are more likely to lie.

Bonding (Physically) With Same-Sex Individuals

By Jesse Marczyk on November 30, 2014 in Pop Psych
A new papers suggests that homoerotic behavior functions to bond same-sex friends closer together. I remain skeptical.

Spark Your Creativity in Six Steps

By Peg Streep on November 10, 2014 in Tech Support
Much of the creative process remains a mystery but if you want to enhance your own skill set, there's research that can help guide the way. Really.

What's the Best Way for You to End a Relationship?

Everyone can relate to relationship break-up strategies that failed miserably. The key to minimizing the pain is to adjust the strategy to your personality and that of your partner. It may even be possible for you to improve your relationship breakup strategy with a simple mental adjustment.

The Creative Process

In any field, whether it's psychology or physics, find the strangest thing and then explore it. – John Archibald Wheeler

The Price Feels Right

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on October 15, 2014 in Consumed
New evidence from the psychology of numbers turns prices (a)round

Managing Everyday Stressors Is Key to Health and Longevity

By Polly Campbell on September 22, 2014 in Imperfect Spirituality
Three ways to ease the stress of traffic jams, work conflicts, household chores and any other daily stress

Change Your Words and Change Your World

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on September 15, 2014 in BrainSnacks
Listen carefully to the statements of people who've disempowered themselves and you'll hear certain language patterns that set them up for feeling powerless.

Why Offensive Jokes Affect You More Than You Realize

By Scott Weems Ph.D. on September 11, 2014 in What’s So Funny?
Sometimes a joke is more than "just a joke." Sexist humor influences us in complex ways.

A Visit to the Rape Room: Who Sees Humor in Sexual Assault?

Who sees humor in sexual assault? Rape jokes take a variety of forms, generated by a greater variety of intentions. Should those individuals who jest about sexual violence learn greater sensitivity or should others who object to such jokes lighten up? What has empirical research shown us about how, why, and when people will make light of sex crimes? Who makes these jokes?

The Surprising Power of Apathy

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 02, 2014 in Ulterior Motives
One of the themes in this blog over the years is goal contagion, which is the idea that we often adopt the goals of the people around us. See someone helping others, and you suddenly want to be helpful. See someone being aggressive, and it makes you more likely to engage aggressively with others. What about apathy?

Looking for a Soul Mate? You Can Do Better.

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on September 01, 2014 in Insight Therapy
The idea of the soul mate is great for what it is: glorious fiction. In real life, it may be a recipe for trouble.

Four Questions can Help Determine the Cause of Chronic Pain

By Howard Schubiner M.D. on August 22, 2014 in Unlearn Your Pain
Millions of people suffer with chronic pain and other disorders for which physicians haven't been able to define a clear medical problem or effective treatment. Few patients or doctors are aware that neural pathways can be the cause for their chronic symptoms, as opposed to tissue damage conditions. This distinction is critical and these questions will help sort this out.

Some Fuss Over Sperm Competition: A Follow-Up

By Jesse Marczyk on August 22, 2014 in Pop Psych
Some new data examining how the potential risk of sperm competition might affect the frequency of sex in relationships.

3 More Things You Didn't Realize About How Your Brain Works

By Peg Streep on August 19, 2014 in Tech Support
Do you realize that your physical surroundings can shape both your thoughts and your actions, without your being any the wiser? Or that women react differently to potential competition if the rival is wearing is red? A revelatory look at the role unconscious and unperceived "snap judgments" play in human life.

The Psychology of Color

Will a red call to action result in a higher conversion rate than a green one? One of the most controversial topics in web design is the issue of color.

Is This the Way to Change Our Attitudes About Violence?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on July 24, 2014 in More Than Mortal
Research indicates that existential concerns about human animality can influence aggressive behavior and attitudes about resolving international conflicts with violence.

Transform Ill Will

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 08, 2014 in Your Wise Brain
Accept as a fact that people will sometimes mistreat you, whether accidentally or deliberately. This doesn’t mean enabling others to harm you, or failing to assert yourself. You’re just accepting the facts on the ground. Feel the hurt, the anger, the fear, but let them flow through you. If you view ill will as an affliction upon yourself, you'll be motivated to drop it.

Saxon Science

Social psychology suffers from a surplus of data, although most believe that there are not enough data. How about a bit more theory?