What is priming?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you feel not so good and you don’t know why? You think about what you did in your day and you remember about something that wasn’t so bad but you felt unhappy since it happened?

I know it’s my case. I could be talking with my brother on the phone and he will say something that consciously doesn’t mean much but will unconsciously trigger bad feelings in me. I will be sad for a few hours until I find what is bothering me.

I also noticed that if I read or see something inspirational, I will be more motivated and happy after. So much so that sometimes I will watch a part of a movie or a book just to give me more energy.

The controversial expermiment conducted on facebook proved that people are influenced by positive or negative information they are in contact with.

Researchers toyed with the feelings of 689,003 randomly selected English-speaking Facebook users by changing the contents of their news feed, according to a paper published in the June edition of the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists’ (PNAS). During a week-long period in January 2012, researchers staged two parallel experiments, reducing the number of positive or negative updates in each user’s news feed.

“When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks,” said the authors of the paper, who include researchers from Facebook, Cornell University, and the University of California.

We also observed a withdrawal effect: People who were exposed to fewer emotional posts (of either valence) in their News Feed were less expressive overall on the following days.

The first time I heard about priming is in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. I put a video of an interview he gave:

It gave me the idea to archive some stuff that put me in a good mood, that get me started in the morning.

Since I’m a web developer, I decided to build a web site where I put what I find so it would be easier to find after. Later I added functionality to have subscription and bookmarks so everybody could use it.

Definition: Priming refers to a increased sensitivity to certain stimuli due to prior experience. Because priming is believed to occur outside of conscious awareness, it is different from memory that relies on the direct retrieval of information. Direct retrieval utilizes explicit memory, while priming relies on implicit memory. Research has also shown that the affects of priming can impact the decision-making process. http://psychology.about.com/ Priming is an acuteness to stimuli because of exposure to a certain event or experience. For example, an individual who has just purchased a new car may now start to notice with more frequency other people driving her same make and model. This person has been primed to recognize more readily a car like hers because of the experience she has driving and owning one. http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Priming If a patient is primed, definition books describe this as the process of giving them prior experience which later relates to stimuli. The concept is that by preparing people with visual, written, or oral data, this will stay in the memory and relate later to stimuli which are put in front of them. http://psych.answers.com/definitions/what-is-the-definition-of-psychological-priming.