Long-Term Subliminal Priming

5257 Words22 Pages
Abstract This research examines the temporal range of subliminal priming effects on complex behavior. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were subliminally primed with words either related or unrelated to intelligence before completing a practice exam, administered 1 to 4 days before an actual course midterm. Results revealed that the intelligence primes increased performance on the midterm compared to neutral primes. Experiment 1 demonstrated that being told that the priming task was designed to help exam performance moderated the effect of the intelligence primes. In Experiment 2, practice test performance mediated the effect of the primes on midterm performance. These experiments demonstrated that subliminal priming may have long-term effects on real-world behavior, and demonstrates one means by which long-term priming effects may occur. Long-term subliminal priming 3 Long-Term Effects of Subliminal Priming on Academic Performance The lay public has long been fascinated by the possibility that information presented below the threshold of consciousness (i.e., subliminally) can affect thoughts and behaviors. For example, concerns about the use of subliminal information in advertising grew so great that the Federal Communications Committee decided to address it, and concluded that such tactics were “contrary to the public interest (FCC, 1974).” Furthermore, companies continue to market and presumably profit from audio- and videotapes purported to employ subliminal messages aimed at fixing ailments from low self-esteem to substance abuse. Although marketers’ claims regarding products that supposedly employ subliminal priming have not fared well in empirical tests, as many such claims have been debunked (Greenwald, Spangenberg, Pratkanis, & Eskenazi, 1991; Pratkanis & Greenwald, 1988), there is quite a bit of

More about Long-Term Subliminal Priming

Open Document