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Study Notes

Priming and Behavioural Choice (Behavioural Economics)

AS, A Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

What is priming?

Our behaviour by cues that work subconsciously and prime us to behave / choose in certain ways.

Examples of priming to change behaviour:

  • Playing of certain types of music in a shopping mall / priming through aroma
  • Subliminal cues in films / TV adverts, subliminal cues before an interview
  • Students signing an honor-code at university before they hand in assignments
  • Showing pictures of older citizens may cause people to walk more slowly
  • When a picture of a woman appeared on a math test, female students were reminded to recall their gender and performed worse on the test (Shih et al 1999)

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