Priming a stereotype

What Is “Social Priming”?

“Social priming” has recently been one of the most controversial topics in psychological science. With failures to replicate proliferating, the field has been called a train-wreck. But what exactly is it? Here’s how I defined social priming in a 2016 post: “Social priming” has been the punching-bag of psychology for the past few years. The term “social priming” refers to the idea that subtle cues can exert large, unconscious influences on human behaviour. The classic example of a social priming effect was the “professor priming” study in which volunteers who completed a task in which they had to describe a typical professor, subsequently performed better on a general knowledge task. In other words, as the authors put it, “priming a stereotype or trait leads to complex overt behavior in line with this activated stereotype or trait.” ….[READ]