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August 2, 2018

Priming

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 The concept of priming was proposed by Daniel Kahneman in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow.

By definition, priming is when factors in the environment create a predisposition to think a certain way, and operates at an unnoticeable level. Here is a good example to illustrate the concept. You have the letters s o blank p in front of you, and you are told to fill in the blank. If you are given the context of food, you will be more likely to place a u to make the word soup.If you hear mention of cleaning supplies, you are more likely to add an a to make the word soap.  As subtle as that difference is, it creates a drastically and consistently different result.   

So, lets discuss the power of priming.

We are capable of priming our own brains to respond quicker and stronger to certain triggers, thus improving our performance, but it takes some work. It can be used to help shift our mentality, make better decisions, or control our emotions. For instance, if you are easily frightened in scary movies, you can prime yourself to smile in that moment to mask your negative emotion. The first step is knowing what result you want to have or avoid, and then work backwards to associate that response with the trigger. The cool thing about priming is once your brain has made the shift, it will work to your advantage without you having to ask it to!

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