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Priming intelligent behavior: an elusive phenomenon.

Shanks, DR; Newell, BR; Lee, EH; Balakrishnan, D; Ekelund, L; Cenac, Z; Kavvadia, F; (2013) Priming intelligent behavior: an elusive phenomenon. PLoS One , 8 (4) , Article e56515. 10.1371/journal.pone.0056515. Green open access

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Abstract

Can behavior be unconsciously primed via the activation of attitudes, stereotypes, or other concepts? A number of studies have suggested that such priming effects can occur, and a prominent illustration is the claim that individuals' accuracy in answering general knowledge questions can be influenced by activating intelligence-related concepts such as professor or soccer hooligan. In 9 experiments with 475 participants we employed the procedures used in these studies, as well as a number of variants of those procedures, in an attempt to obtain this intelligence priming effect. None of the experiments obtained the effect, although financial incentives did boost performance. A Bayesian analysis reveals considerable evidential support for the null hypothesis. The results conform to the pattern typically obtained in word priming experiments in which priming is very narrow in its generalization and unconscious (subliminal) influences, if they occur at all, are extremely short-lived. We encourage others to explore the circumstances in which this phenomenon might be obtained.

Type: Article
Title: Priming intelligent behavior: an elusive phenomenon.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056515
Publisher version: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC363479...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Shanks et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC3634790
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1392530
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