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The Florida Effect

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How priming people with background factors unconsciously affects their actions

Published in: Leadership & Management
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The Florida Effect

  1. 1. The Florida Effect Priming people with background factors unconsciously affects their actions
  2. 2. Participants in this experiment were asked to arrange a series of words into a sentence. They were told it was a task set to investigate language proficiency. In the first condition these words had random associations
  3. 3. Please write grammatically correct sentences using the words in the list Hmm… “tree”, “well”, “fellow”. “shout”…
  4. 4. In the second condition some of these were words that could be associated with the elderly such as “bald”, “grey”, “wrinkle” and “Florida” (giving the experiment its namesake)
  5. 5. Please write grammatically correct sentences using the words in the list Hmm… “bald”, “grey”, “Florida”. “wrinkle”…
  6. 6. Having written their sentences, participants were then asked to walk down a short corridor to another room to fill in a form As is so often the case in psychology experiments, it was the behaviour during this walk that the experimenters were actually interested in
  7. 7. 14:00:00
  8. 8. 14:00:03
  9. 9. 14:00:06
  10. 10. 14:00:00
  11. 11. 14:00:05
  12. 12. 14:00:10
  13. 13. Participants that had formed sentences from words associated with the elderly walked more slowly down the corridor than those given random words This was despite reporting that they neither felt old nor had they recognised an elderly association in the words they’d arranged
  14. 14. Conclusions 1. Background factors can affect our behaviour – a process called ‘priming’ 2. Priming has an unconscious effect on our actions
  15. 15. Reference Automaticity of Social Behavior: Direct Effects of Trait Construct and Stereotype Activation on Action Journal of Personality and Social Psyhcology, 1996, volume 71, No. 2, 230—244 by John A Bargh, Mark Chen and Lara Burrows

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