What is priming?  No, not primate.  Although we do have poseable thumbs, it is a bit more complicated than that. First lets talk about what priming is. It 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. In simple terms, saying a word can get us to think of something we usually associate with that word. The complexity of the human brain is what normally separates us from the world around us.  So how is it that something so simple can actually be used against us to target thoughts and invoke certain actions through these seen perceptions?

How does it work?

Priming can be used in many different ways to elicit a response or thought in a person or people. It can be as simple as adjusting the temperature of a room or object, showing a certain color, and something as simple as a word, all used to invoke different emotions.  The reality is priming exists all around us in our everyday life and we don’t even realize it.  It is used by the media, advertisers, and even in schools.


You may or may not have noticed in the section to the left the title was in red. When reading that section did you feel that “that doesn’t happen to me” or maybe stuff like that never works. If you did, you were primed. The color red tends to elicit emotions of anger or frustration or even rebellion. But that’s just one, here are others:

Lucky = 7

Yellow = Banana

Wrinkles, Florida = Old people or moving slow

Negative Priming

Unlike Priming, in which certain stimuli subconsciously lead us to make a certain response, negative priming has the opposite effect. In negative priming the presence of other stimuli makes it more difficult to make the correct response. The brain is being bombarded with information so it actually chooses to ignore certain stimuli. In some cases this can be beneficial by ignoring unimportant stimuli making decision making easier, but in other cases this may actually cause you to overlook a stimuli that is right in front you without ever noticing.

For more information visit the following links:

Test Your Awareness

Priming Our Brain