Generosity Of Priming Research

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Priming occurs when a stimulus causes a person to subconsciously think of a thought, memory, or emotion. Priming can cause someone to react a certain way to another stimulus. Spreading activation occurs after an initial schema was primed, and related concepts are triggered; this cycle helps maximize the effects of priming. The concepts of priming and spreading activation were shown in an experiment where participants were primed with stereotypes (Dijksterhuis & Knippenberg 1998). The independent variable in this experiment was the topic that participants discussed; one group discussed professors, while the other group discussed soccer hooligans. Afterwards, both groups completed a general knowledge task in order to measure their intelligence,…show more content…
One way to prove this is to measure generosity. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Those assigned to the first group will be told to complete a series of elementary mathematics solutions in silence. Those assigned to the second group will complete the same problems, but there will be instrumental Christmas music playing while they do so. Whether the participant is assigned to the group with no music playing or instrumental Christmas music playing is the independent variable. When exiting the building, a confederate will ask each participant if they want to donate money for a charity. The dependent variable, generosity, will be measured by how much money on average each participant donates. I expect participants who will complete the math problems in the room with instrumental Christmas music playing to donate more money on average to the charity due to the influence of priming. Because spreading activation causes the brain to associate Christmas music with giving presents, it is likely that participants that were primed by listening to this music would feel more generous, and prove this by donating more money on average to the
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