The Influence of Color Priming and Forewarning on Anagram Performance Colors are an essential part of life, from warning us of poisonous creatures to describing our emotions, they have proven their worth. Certain colors can be perceived in specific situations or attributed to a particular emotion. For instance, priming of sadness can lead to perception of the color blue, whereas priming of anger can lead to perception of the color red (Fetterman, Robinson, Gordon, & Elliot, 2011). The central aim of our study is to explore the effect priming with a specific color has on anagram performance. Priming is defined as the unconscious influence that a stimulus has on the agility or accuracy in performing a task (Schacter & Rajendra, 2001). According to Jefferis and Fazio (2008), priming impacts behaviors by informing the person if they have met the demands of the situation. The influence priming has on behavior is shaped by what one perceives in a particular situation. For example, priming the color red in the context of romantic attraction would have a different response than priming the color red in an achievement situation, situations in which there is a possibility for success or failure and competence is measured (Elliot, Maier, Binser, Friedman, & Pekrun, 2009). In the context of romantic attraction, the color red unconsciously increases perceived attractiveness of another person (Elliot & Niesta, 2008). With regards to achievement, the color red elicits avoidance behavior due to its association with factors such as the red in alarms that suggest danger (Elliot, Maier, Moller, Friedman, & Meinhardt, 2007; Elliot et al., 2009). To study the influence that red has on achievement, Elliot et al. (2007) designed a study that involved color priming and used anagram performance as a representation of achievement. In one of the experiments conducted, the colors red, green, and black were used to test anagram performance. Participants were assigned to the color conditions (red, green, or black) through the COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 4process of random assignment. First participants were given a practice test and later they were given the real anagram test. Before completing the real anagram test, participants were told to check that all of the pages contained their participant number. The numbers were written in red, green, or black ink at the top of every page of the test. Results showed that exposure to red, compared to green or black, on achievement tasks impaired performance. In accordance with the idea that color affects performance, Steele (2014) recreated a study that hypothesized that words associated with avoidance were solved faster on a red background and words associated with approaching were solved faster on a blue background. Participants were asked to complete an anagram task in which instructions for the task were written in black letters on a white, red, or blue background. The words were linked to activating either approach, avoidance, or neutral motivation. The findings opposed those of the previous study that Steele (2004) replicated. The previous study reported that a red background would result in faster solution of avoidance words and that a blue background would result in faster solution of approach words. Steele’s study found that words classified as avoidance were solved slower on the red background compared to approach and neutral words. Similarly, words classified as approach were solved slower on the blue background. An implication as to why the result of the replicated study were contradictory to those of the original study suggested that words classified as avoidance, approach, or neutral were actually classified in the wrong group. Study One To further explore the impact that color priming has on anagram performance, we designed a study in similar fashion to Elliot et al. (2007), in which participants completed an anagram task after priming for a specific color. Each participant was given an identical anagram task to complete but with instructions for the anagram task written in red, green, or black ink. We COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 5predicted that participants given red ink will perform worse on the anagram task than those given green or black ink instructions. That is, red ink participants will correctly unscramble fewer words than participants given both green ink and black ink, whom we do not expect will differ in their anagram performance. We also predicted that participants given red ink (compared to green or black ink) will find the anagram task more challenging for themselves and others and will find it more frustrating. They will also think that they will perform worse on the task when given red ink. However, we predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, will believe that the ink color did not affect them. Methods Participants There were 115 participants in our study. Of these, 55 were male (47.8%) and 60 were female (52.2%). The age of the sample ranged from 12 to 69 (M = 26.22, SD = 9.63). This included 19.1% Caucasian (N = 22), 59.1% Hispanic (N = 68), 6.1% Native American (N = 7), 5.2% African American (N = 6), 4.3% Asian (N = 5), and 6.1% of participants reporting “other” (N = 7). Materials and Procedure Potential participants were randomly approached and informed of the possible risks and benefits of participating in the study. If the potential participant verbally agreed to take part in the study, he or she was presented with one of three anagram questionnaires. The questionnaires contained instructions written in red, green, or black ink; this color manipulation was our independent variable. Each of the anagram questionnaires consisted of three identical parts and only differentiated in the color with which the instructions were written. COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 6In the first part of the questionnaire, the participants were given a timed anagram task to complete. Without hinting to the color manipulation, participants were reminded to read the questionnaire instructions carefully and to inform the researcher when they were ready to begin so that the researcher could start the timer. The anagram task consisted of 20 scrambled words that the participants had to unscramble by using all of the original letters to form a new word. For example, BMTUH had to be correctly unscrambled to spell out the word THUMB. The participants were given three minutes to unscramble as many words as they could and were notified when they had one minute left to finish the task. After the three minutes, participants were told to stop and to move on to the next part of the questionnaire. Part two of the questionnaire consisted of six questions about the anagram task that the participants completed. These six questions were part of our dependent variables. In the first four questions the participants recorded their response on a scale of one to nine. In these questions the participant recorded how challenging the task was for them (1 = not at all challenging, 9 = extremely challenging), how challenging they thought other participants found the task (1 = not at all challenging, 9 = extremely challenging), how frustrating they found the task (1 = not at all frustrating, 9 = very frustrating), and how they thought they did on the anagram task (1 = very poorly, 9 = very well). The fifth question gave us insight as to whether the participants did or did not pay attention to the study manipulation. This fifth question asked the participants to recall the color of the ink used for the instructions (red, green, black, or blue). The last question asked the participants the extent to which the color ink on the instructions influenced their performance on the anagram task (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 = increased my number correct). Part three of the questionnaire asked for the participants’ demographic information. The participants were asked about their gender, age, race/ ethnicity, whether or not English was their COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 7first language, if they were a student at Florida International University, and if they were colorblind. Participants were informed that they were free to leave blank any of the questions they did not wish to answer in this section. At the end of the study, the participants were debriefed on the study conditions and hypothesis and were given the answer key to the correct unscrambled word for the anagram task. Once the study was completed and the participants debriefed, we used the answer key to determine the number of correct anagrams the participant solved. Participants were given one point for each anagram they correctly unscrambled so that the scores would range from zero to twenty. Our study consisted of seven dependent variables; however, the main dependent variable of our study is the number of correct anagrams the participants solved. We predicted that participants given red ink will perform worse on the anagram task than those given green or black ink instructions. We also predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, will believe that the ink color did not affect them. Results A chi-square test was done to determine if participants correctly recalled the color of the ink used in the instructions. Using color manipulation (red, green, or black) as our independent variable and the color ink participants recalled seeing as the dependent variable, we saw a significant effect, X2(6) = 153.38, p < .001. Participants in the red condition recalled seeing red (87.2%); participants in the green condition recalled seeing green (84.6%); and participants in the black condition recalled seeing black (83.8%). Phi showed a large effect. This indicated that participants were cognizant of our manipulation (the color of the instructions). To evaluate our main dependent variable, we ran a One-Way ANOVA with color manipulation (Red v. Green v. Black) as our independent variable and the number of anagrams COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 8participants correctly solved as our dependent variable. The ANOVA was significant, F(2, 112) = 7.20, p < .05. In order to investigate differences in the means, we ran a Tukey LSD post hoc test. This showed that participants solved fewer anagrams in the red condition (M = 4.87, SD = 1.34) than in both the green (M = 5.72, SD = 1.16) and black (M = 6.10, SD = 1.81) conditions. The green and black groups, however, did not differ from each other. This supported our hypothesis that participants given instructions in red ink would perform worse on the anagram task than participants who were given instructions in green or black ink. Another dependent variable we were interested in was whether or not participants believed that the color of ink used in the instructions affected the number of anagrams they correctly solved. To evaluate this, we ran a One-Way ANOVA with color manipulation (Red v. Green v. Black) as our independent variable and participant belief of color influence as our dependent variable. The ANOVA was not significant, F(2, 112) = 1.54, p > .05. This supported our hypothesis that, regardless of ink color, participants would believe the color ink used in the instructions did not affect them. In this situation, participants in the red condition (M = 3.18, SD = 1.59), the green condition (M = 3.10, SD = 1.41), and the black condition (M = 2.65, SD = 1.23) did not differ from one another. Given the fact that the p-value for the ANOVA test was not significant, we did not need to run a post hoc test. Discussion We predicted that instructions written in red ink will impair participant performance on an anagram task as opposed to instructions written in green or black ink. That is, participants given instructions written in red ink will correctly unscramble fewer words than participants given instructions written in green ink or black ink, whom we did not expect to differ in their anagram performance. We also predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, would COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 9believe that the ink color did not affect them. Results supported both of our hypotheses. Participants in our red condition solved fewer anagrams than those in the green and black condition, whose performance did not differ. Also participants did not believe that ink color had any effect on their anagram performance. If participants who were given instructions in red ink were unaware of the influence the color red had on their performance, what would happen if participants were forewarned about the influence of color on performance? Would participants given instructions in red ink perform much worse while participants given black ink instructions perform much better in the anagram task? Would there be no change in performance? Will we see other changes? We will explore the influence of forewarning on our second study. Study Two As social creatures, humans are constantly influencing and being influenced by the environment. For example, color has the ability to affect people’s behavioral responses. However, people may be unaware of these influences on their opinions, behaviors, and actions. Would forewarning of these influences change the ways in which people otherwise react in a particular situation? The central aim of our second study is to examine the impact that forewarning has on performance. Specifically, we want to examine the impact that forewarning on the negative effects of the color red has on anagram performance. A study conducted by Petty and Cacioppo (1977), examined the effects that forewarning about the content of a message had on resisting persuasion. In one if their experiments, researchers wanted to see if participants who were forewarned about the content of a message produced counterarguments because they were motivated to do so. Sixty introduction to psychology students were randomly assigned to the study conditions: warning and instructed to write topic thoughts, no warning and instructed to write topic thoughts, warning and instructed to COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 10write actual thoughts, no warning and instructed to write actual thoughts. Students were told that a psychologist from the counseling center was going to speak to them. Before the psychologist gave his speech, they were given a questionnaire to complete. Participants in the warning condition read that the psychologist will be talking about why all freshmen and sophomores should be required to live on campus (a topic in which the students’ opinions differed from those of the speaker). Participants in the no warning condition read that the psychologist will be talking about conclusions he generated in his time working at the counseling center. After a silent three minutes, participants were asked to move on to the next part of the questionnaire. The next part asked participants in the actual thoughts condition to record all the thoughts they had during the last three minutes. Participants in the topic thought condition were asked to record their thoughts on the matter of freshmen and sophomores being required to live on campus. Afterwards, the psychologist gave his speech on why freshmen and sophomores should be required to live on campus. Results showed that participants in the warned condition and the no warning but instructed to write topic thoughts condition had more resistance to persuasion because thinking about the topic allowed them to come up with counterarguments. Leon, Rotunda, Sutton, and Schlossman (2003), studied the influence of online forewarning on ratings of attraction. Participants were randomly assigned to the forewarning group or the no forewarning group. All of the participants used a computer to go to the web page that contained a general statement about the Internet. Participants in the forewarning condition additionally received information about the use of deception in the Internet. The next part of the study consisted of navigating through four web pages that contained photographs of a person of the opposite sex. The participant then rated the attractiveness of each photo and answered questions about the likeliness of interacting with the person whose photo they saw. Results COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 11showed that participants forewarned about the use of deception on the Internet perceived the photo shown as less attractive than those who were not forewarned about the use of deception. They were also less likely to express the desire of further interaction with the person through engaging in online chats. These results were consistent with those of Petty and Cacioppo (1977) in the idea that when forewarned of persuasiveness, people will become more resistant to that persuasion. In this case, participants became more resistant to deception. In the case of our second study, we predict that participants forewarned about the influence of red on anagram performance will perform better than those who were not forewarned due to participants developing resistance. Weber and Bizer (2006), studied the effects that forewarning about exam difficulty had on test performance. The researchers hypothesized that forewarning of test difficulty would boost performance in students with low anxiety but decrease performance in students with high anxiety. Before random assignment into one of the three experimental conditions, researchers measured the level of dispositional anxiety each participant had by having them complete a traitanxiety questionnaire. Participants were randomly assigned to: the forewarned condition in which they were told that the test was difficult, the forewarned condition in which they were told that the test would be easy, or the no forewarning condition. Then participants were told that they would be completing a version of a previous GRE and that this test should be taken seriously. Results showed that students with low trait anxiety performed better when forewarned about the test being difficult as opposed to easy. Students with high trait anxiety performed worse when forewarned that the test would be difficult as opposed to easy. To expand further research on the topic of forewarning, we have devised a study that looks at the effect that forewarning of the color red has on anagram performance. Participants COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 12were randomly assigned to a forewarning or a no forewarning condition. In the no forewarning condition participants were given an anagram task with instructions written in either red or black ink. In the forewarning condition participants were informed about the effect that the color red has on performance before given an anagram task with instruction written in either red or black ink. In accordance with study one, we predicted that participants who were given red ink instructions will solve fewer anagrams than those given black ink. We also predicted that those given a warning about ink color and anagram performance will perform better on the anagram task as compared to those who were not forewarned. We predicted that frustration will impact participants’ performance. Specifically, we predicted that those in the black ink condition regardless of warning will find the anagram task less frustrating than those in the red ink condition. Those in the red ink condition who were forewarned will find the task less frustrating than those who were not forewarned. We expected no difference in the level of frustration of those in the black ink condition who received a warning. We predicted that when asked how frustrating they thought other participants found the task, there will be no difference in the red ink and black ink conditions. We also predicted that those in the red ink condition would feel they would have performed better if they were not forewarned vs. those in the black ink condition who would feel forewarning would not have made a difference in their performance. Methods Participants There were 227 participants in study two. Of these, 82 were male (37.1%) and 139 were female (62.9%). The age of the sample ranged from 15 to 63 (M = 23.51, SD = 7.58). This COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 13included 14.4% Caucasian (N = 32), 68.5% Hispanic (N = 152), 9.0% African American (N = 20), 1.4% Asian (N = 3), and 6.8% of participants reporting “other” (N = 15). Materials and Procedure Potential participants were asked to partake in an online study with the benefit of aiding the completion of our research. If the potential participant agreed to take part in the study, he or she was given the link of the online survey created through Qualtrics, a survey software. Before starting the survey, the participants were presented with an online consent form that informed them of the possible risks and benefits of participating in the study, and had to indicate their agreement by clicking the “I choose to participate” button in order to continue with the study. Our study two was composed of four parts and used the same color manipulation as in study one, but instead of three conditions we used two conditions (red ink and black ink). In the first part of the study, participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: forewarning red, forewarning black, no forewarning red, no forewarning black. In the forewarning red condition, participants were forewarned about the color red and then given instructions written in red ink. In the forewarning black condition, participants were forewarned about the color red and then given instructions written in black ink. In the no forewarning red condition, participants were not forewarned about the color red and received instructions written in red ink. In the no forewarning black condition, participants were not forewarned about the color red and received instructions written in black ink. Participants in the forewarning condition were given a statement that read “The color red may carry the meaning of failure and avoidance in achievement contexts. It may unconsciously affect levels of frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to poor performance levels. Prior research suggests that participants whom are given instructions in red may experience higher levels of frustration and solve fewer anagrams than COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 14participants given instructions in black”. All participants received anagram tests with identical parts and only differentiated in the color of the instructions (red ink or black ink). Resembling study one, the second part of the study exposed participants to the instructions of the anagram test which were written in either red ink or black ink. Once the participants read the instructions they had to click the “continue” button to begin the anagram test. The test used different anagrams from those of study one. The anagram test consisted of 20 scrambled words and the participant had to unscramble as many as they could in three minutes. A timer on the computer screen indicated when the three minutes had passed. After the three minutes, participants were able to view the answers to the anagram test and calculate their score. One point was given for each right answer. In the third part of the study, participants were presented with seven questions about the anagram task they completed. These seven questions were part of our dependent variables. The first question asked the participants to record how many anagrams they correctly solved. The second question gave us insight as to whether the participants were attentive to the color manipulation. This second question asked the participants to recall the color of the ink used for the instructions (black, red, green, or blue). On the last five questions the participants recorded their responses on a scale of one to nine. In these questions participants recorded how challenging the task was for them (1 = not at all challenging, 9 = very challenging), how frustrating they found the task (1 = not at all frustrating, 9 = very frustrating), if they thought forewarning of the effects of the color red on performance would cause someone to perform better or worse than someone not warned (1 = worse than someone not warned, 9 = better than someone not warned), to what extent the color ink on the instructions influenced their performance (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 = increased my number correct), and to what COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 15extent did being forewarned influence their performance (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 = increased my number correct). The fourth part of our study asked for the participants’ demographic information. These questions asked for their gender, age, ethnicity, if English was their first language, if they were a student at Florida International University, and if they were colorblind. After completing the study, the participants were debriefed on the study conditions and hypothesis. Our study two consisted of seven dependent variables; however, our main interest was the number of anagrams participants correctly solved. Another dependent variable we analyzed was the extent participants thought that being forewarned influenced their performance. We also analyzed the interaction between ink color and forewarning. Results A manipulation check using color manipulation (red or black ink) as the independent variable and the color ink participants recalled seeing as the dependent variable was significant, χ2 (1) = 31.62, p < .001. Most participants in the red ink condition correctly recalled that the instructions were written in red (65%) while most participants in the black in condition correctly recalled that the instructions were written in black (67.7%). Phi showed a medium effect. This indicated that participants were cognizant of the ink color in the instructions (See Appendix A). To evaluate our main dependent variable, we ran a 2 X 2 factorial ANOVA with color condition (red v. black) and forewarning condition (forewarning v. no forewarning) as our independent variables and the number of anagrams participants correctly solved as our dependent variable. There was no main effect for forewarning, F(1, 223) = 2.68, p > .05. This indicated that there was no difference in the number of anagrams correctly solved in the no forewarning (M = 8.31, SD = 4.49) versus forewarning (M = 9.13, SD = 4.83) conditions. We found a significant COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 16condition effect for the color condition, F(1, 223) = 8.70, p < .05. Participants solved more anagrams in the black condition (M = 9.53, SD = 4.87) than the red condition (M = 7.74, SD = 4.24). We also analyzed the interaction between the independent variables (color condition and forewarning condition) and the dependent variable (number of anagrams correct). We found a significant interaction effect between color condition and forewarning condition, F(1, 223) = 8.07, p < .05. First, in the red condition, simple effects showed that participants solved more anagrams in the forewarning condition (M = 9.10, SD = 4.40) than the no forewarning condition (M = 6.40, SD = 3.64), F(1, 101) = 11.48, p < .05. Second, in the black condition, simple effects showed that participants solved a similar number of anagrams in the forewarning (M = 9.16, SD = 5.19) and no forewarning (M = 9.89, SD = 4.54) conditions, F(1, 122) = 0.69, p > .05. Third, for participants in the no forewarning condition, simple effects tests showed they solved more anagrams in the black condition (M = 9.89, SD = 4.54) than the red condition (M = 6.40, SD = 3.64), F(1, 113) = 19.98, p < .05. Fourth, for participants who were forewarned, simple effect tests showed that they solved a similar number of anagrams in the red (M = 9.10, SD = 4.40) and black (M = 9.16, SD = 5.19) conditions, F(1, 110) = .005, p > .05 (See Appendix B). Another dependent variable we were interested in was the extent participants thought that being forewarned influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved. To evaluate this, we ran another 2 X 2 ANOVA with color condition (red v. black) and forewarning condition (forewarning v. no forewarning) as our independent variables and participant belief of forewarning influence as our dependent variable. There was no main effect for forewarning, F(1, 220) = 0.03, p > .05. This meant that participants did not think being forewarned influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved. Participants in the forewarning condition (M = 5.05, SD = 1.59) did not differ from those in the no forewarning condition (M = 5.04, SD = 1.45). COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 17Likewise, there was no main effect for the color condition, F(1, 220) = 0.23, p > .05. Participants in the red condition (M = 5.10, SD = 1.62) and participants in the black condition (M = 5.00, SD = 1.44) did not think forewarning influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved. Additionally, there was no significant interaction effect of forewarning and color condition F(1, 220) = 0.94, p > .05. Participants in the forewarning red condition (M = 5.22, SD = 1.53), forewarning black condition (M = 4.92, SD = 1.65), no forewarning red condition (M = 4.98, SD = 1.73), or no forewarning black condition (M = 5.08, SD = 1.21) did not think that being forewarned influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved (See Appendix C). Discussion In accordance with study one, we predicted a main effect for the color condition, with participants given red ink performing worse on the anagram task than those given black ink. We also predicted that those given a warning about ink color and anagram performance would perform better on the anagram task compared to those who were not forewarned. Additionally, we predicted that those in the red ink condition would feel they would have performed better if they were not forewarned vs. those in the black ink condition who would feel forewarning would not have made a difference in their performance. Results supported only our first hypothesis. Consistent with study one, participants given instructions in red ink solved fewer anagrams than those who were given instructions in black ink. Results did not support our hypothesis that forewarning alone would increase performance on the anagram task. There was actually no difference in the number of anagrams correctly solved in the forewarning and no forewarning condition; however, there was an interaction between the forewarning condition and the color condition. Participants who were given instructions in red ink and had no forewarning solved fewer anagrams than all the other participants. Participants in the black ink and red ink COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 18conditions who were forewarned solved a similar number of anagrams. This result may be due to participants in the forewarning condition being able to ignore the red ink color. Results did not support our last hypothesis that participants in the red ink condition who were forewarned would feel they would have performed better if they were not forewarned. All participants, regardless of condition, believed that forewarning did not influence the number of anagrams they correctly solved. General Discussion In assessing the effect of color priming on anagram performance, we predicted that instructions written in red ink would impair performance. This hypothesis was supported in both study one and study two. In both studies participants given instructions written in red ink performed much worse than those given instructions in either green or black ink. These findings reinforce the conclusion of Elliot et al. (2007) that red impairs performance on achievement tasks because it activates avoidance motivation and is associated with the danger of failure. The results of study one also revealed that participants were unaware of the effect ink color had on their performance. Such findings suggest that when administering or taking part in an achievement task one should be cautious as to priming the color red. For example, teachers often administer different versions of an exam in an effort to reduce cheating. Such versions of the exam are usually color coded. As a result, teachers must take care not to use the color red on such versions otherwise students given a version with the color red may perform worse than other students. Regarding the effect that forewarning about the negative influence that the color red has on performance, we predicted that participants who were forewarned would perform better on the anagrams task than those who were not forewarned. By itself, forewarning did not produce any effect in the number of anagrams solved in the forewarning and no forewarning conditions. COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 19However, participants who were not forewarned and were given instructions in red ink performed worse than all other participants, whereas those who were forewarned and received instructions in red ink performed equally well as participants who were given instructions in black ink. These findings are similar to those of Petty and Cacioppo (1977) and those of Leon, Rotunda, Sutton, and Schlossman (2003) in that forewarning of a particular influence may lead to resisting that influence. In the case of study two, forewarning of the negative effect of the color red may have led participants to ignore the color red while completing the anagram task. This resulted in counteracting the negative effect that instructions written in red ink had. Going back to the example of administering a test, it may be helpful to inform students of a possible effect that color in the test versions may have on their performance and to ask them to ignore the color. There were several possible limitations to our study. Our study used a small number of participants which may have affected the results. Also most of our participants were college students. The level of interest and attention that each participant paid to the anagram task as well as the honesty of their answers were also possible limitations. Possible problems with the online survey may have surfaced, such as answers being marked wrong when they were right. Future studies may recruit a larger and more diverse pool of participants. If specifically looking at how the color red may impact test performance, it would be wise to use a classroom setting as most tests are administered in a classroom full of people. In addition, just as tests are administered to people at a certain level of knowledge it may be useful to use anagrams that match the cognitive level of the individual. Administering an anagram to a twelve-year-old could have different results than administering the same anagram task to a thirty-year-old. Future research may also COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 20measure individuals’ anxiety levels before and after the test to see how the color red directly influences anxiety and to what extent that influences performance. Colors are an essential part of life and may have the potential to influence our thoughts, behaviors, and actions in more ways than we think. The present study found that the color red unconsciously impaired performance on an anagram test. This is an important finding that schools and test administrators should find useful. Students spend the majority of their time in school and being administered different tests, it is important to know that the use of red in any part of examinations should be avoided as to prevent students performing lower than their potential.QUESTION 8. What did they find in study two? Give the general outcome

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The Influence of Color Priming and Forewarning on Anagram Performance
Colors are an essential part of life, from warning us of poisonous creatures to describing
our emotions, they have proven their worth. Certain colors can be perceived in specific situations
or attributed to a particular emotion. For instance, priming of sadness can lead to perception of
the color blue, whereas priming of anger can lead to perception of the color red (Fetterman,
Robinson, Gordon, & Elliot, 2011). The central aim of our study is to explore the effect priming
with a specific color has on anagram performance.
Priming is defined as the unconscious influence that a stimulus has on the agility or
accuracy in performing a task (Schacter & Rajendra, 2001). According to Jefferis and Fazio
(2008), priming impacts behaviors by informing the person if they have met the demands of the
situation. The influence priming has on behavior is shaped by what one perceives in a particular
situation. For example, priming the color red in the context of romantic attraction would have a
different response than priming the color red in an achievement situation, situations in which
there is a possibility for success or failure and competence is measured (Elliot, Maier, Binser,
Friedman, & Pekrun, 2009). In the context of romantic attraction, the color red unconsciously
increases perceived attractiveness of another person (Elliot & Niesta, 2008). With regards to
achievement, the color red elicits avoidance behavior due to its association with factors such as
the red in alarms that suggest danger (Elliot, Maier, Moller, Friedman, & Meinhardt, 2007; Elliot
et al., 2009).
To study the influence that red has on achievement, Elliot et al. (2007) designed a study
that involved color priming and used anagram performance as a representation of achievement.
In one of the experiments conducted, the colors red, green, and black were used to test anagram
performance. Participants were assigned to the color conditions (red, green, or black) through the
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 4

process of random assignment. First participants were given a practice test and later they were
given the real anagram test. Before completing the real anagram test, participants were told to
check that all of the pages contained their participant number. The numbers were written in red,
green, or black ink at the top of every page of the test. Results showed that exposure to red,
compared to green or black, on achievement tasks impaired performance.
In accordance with the idea that color affects performance, Steele (2014) recreated a
study that hypothesized that words associated with avoidance were solved faster on a red
background and words associated with approaching were solved faster on a blue background.
Participants were asked to complete an anagram task in which instructions for the task were
written in black letters on a white, red, or blue background. The words were linked to activating
either approach, avoidance, or neutral motivation. The findings opposed those of the previous
study that Steele (2004) replicated. The previous study reported that a red background would
result in faster solution of avoidance words and that a blue background would result in faster
solution of approach words. Steele’s study found that words classified as avoidance were solved
slower on the red background compared to approach and neutral words. Similarly, words
classified as approach were solved slower on the blue background. An implication as to why the
result of the replicated study were contradictory to those of the original study suggested that
words classified as avoidance, approach, or neutral were actually classified in the wrong group.
Study One
To further explore the impact that color priming has on anagram performance, we
designed a study in similar fashion to Elliot et al. (2007), in which participants completed an
anagram task after priming for a specific color. Each participant was given an identical anagram
task to complete but with instructions for the anagram task written in red, green, or black ink. We
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 5

predicted that participants given red ink will perform worse on the anagram task than those given
green or black ink instructions. That is, red ink participants will correctly unscramble fewer
words than participants given both green ink and black ink, whom we do not expect will differ in
their anagram performance. We also predicted that participants given red ink (compared to green
or black ink) will find the anagram task more challenging for themselves and others and will find
it more frustrating. They will also think that they will perform worse on the task when given red
ink. However, we predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, will believe that the ink
color did not affect them.
Methods
Participants
There were 115 participants in our study. Of these, 55 were male (47.8%) and 60 were
female (52.2%). The age of the sample ranged from 12 to 69 (M = 26.22, SD = 9.63). This
included 19.1% Caucasian (N = 22), 59.1% Hispanic (N = 68), 6.1% Native American (N = 7),
5.2% African American (N = 6), 4.3% Asian (N = 5), and 6.1% of participants reporting “other”
(N = 7).
Materials and Procedure
Potential participants were randomly approached and informed of the possible risks and
benefits of participating in the study. If the potential participant verbally agreed to take part in
the study, he or she was presented with one of three anagram questionnaires. The questionnaires
contained instructions written in red, green, or black ink; this color manipulation was our
independent variable. Each of the anagram questionnaires consisted of three identical parts and
only differentiated in the color with which the instructions were written.
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 6

In the first part of the questionnaire, the participants were given a timed anagram task to
complete. Without hinting to the color manipulation, participants were reminded to read the
questionnaire instructions carefully and to inform the researcher when they were ready to begin
so that the researcher could start the timer. The anagram task consisted of 20 scrambled words
that the participants had to unscramble by using all of the original letters to form a new word.
For example, BMTUH had to be correctly unscrambled to spell out the word THUMB. The
participants were given three minutes to unscramble as many words as they could and were
notified when they had one minute left to finish the task. After the three minutes, participants
were told to stop and to move on to the next part of the questionnaire.
Part two of the questionnaire consisted of six questions about the anagram task that the
participants completed. These six questions were part of our dependent variables. In the first four
questions the participants recorded their response on a scale of one to nine. In these questions the
participant recorded how challenging the task was for them (1 = not at all challenging, 9 =
extremely challenging), how challenging they thought other participants found the task (1 = not
at all challenging, 9 = extremely challenging), how frustrating they found the task (1 = not at all
frustrating, 9 = very frustrating), and how they thought they did on the anagram task (1 = very
poorly, 9 = very well). The fifth question gave us insight as to whether the participants did or did
not pay attention to the study manipulation. This fifth question asked the participants to recall the
color of the ink used for the instructions (red, green, black, or blue). The last question asked the
participants the extent to which the color ink on the instructions influenced their performance on
the anagram task (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 = increased my number correct).
Part three of the questionnaire asked for the participants’ demographic information. The
participants were asked about their gender, age, race/ ethnicity, whether or not English was their
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 7

first language, if they were a student at Florida International University, and if they were
colorblind. Participants were informed that they were free to leave blank any of the questions
they did not wish to answer in this section. At the end of the study, the participants were
debriefed on the study conditions and hypothesis and were given the answer key to the correct
unscrambled word for the anagram task. Once the study was completed and the participants
debriefed, we used the answer key to determine the number of correct anagrams the participant
solved. Participants were given one point for each anagram they correctly unscrambled so that
the scores would range from zero to twenty.
Our study consisted of seven dependent variables; however, the main dependent variable
of our study is the number of correct anagrams the participants solved. We predicted that
participants given red ink will perform worse on the anagram task than those given green or
black ink instructions. We also predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, will believe
that the ink color did not affect them.
Results
A chi-square test was done to determine if participants correctly recalled the color of the
ink used in the instructions. Using color manipulation (red, green, or black) as our independent
variable and the color ink participants recalled seeing as the dependent variable, we saw a
significant effect, X2(6) = 153.38, p < .001. Participants in the red condition recalled seeing red
(87.2%); participants in the green condition recalled seeing green (84.6%); and participants in
the black condition recalled seeing black (83.8%). Phi showed a large effect. This indicated that
participants were cognizant of our manipulation (the color of the instructions).
To evaluate our main dependent variable, we ran a One-Way ANOVA with color
manipulation (Red v. Green v. Black) as our independent variable and the number of anagrams
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 8

participants correctly solved as our dependent variable. The ANOVA was significant, F(2, 112)
= 7.20, p < .05. In order to investigate differences in the means, we ran a Tukey LSD post hoc
test. This showed that participants solved fewer anagrams in the red condition (M = 4.87, SD =
1.34) than in both the green (M = 5.72, SD = 1.16) and black (M = 6.10, SD = 1.81) conditions.
The green and black groups, however, did not differ from each other. This supported our
hypothesis that participants given instructions in red ink would perform worse on the anagram
task than participants who were given instructions in green or black ink.
Another dependent variable we were interested in was whether or not participants
believed that the color of ink used in the instructions affected the number of anagrams they
correctly solved. To evaluate this, we ran a One-Way ANOVA with color manipulation (Red v.
Green v. Black) as our independent variable and participant belief of color influence as our
dependent variable. The ANOVA was not significant, F(2, 112) = 1.54, p > .05. This supported
our hypothesis that, regardless of ink color, participants would believe the color ink used in the
instructions did not affect them. In this situation, participants in the red condition (M = 3.18, SD
= 1.59), the green condition (M = 3.10, SD = 1.41), and the black condition (M = 2.65, SD =
1.23) did not differ from one another. Given the fact that the p-value for the ANOVA test was
not significant, we did not need to run a post hoc test.
Discussion
We predicted that instructions written in red ink will impair participant performance on
an anagram task as opposed to instructions written in green or black ink. That is, participants
given instructions written in red ink will correctly unscramble fewer words than participants
given instructions written in green ink or black ink, whom we did not expect to differ in their
anagram performance. We also predicted that all participants, regardless of ink color, would
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 9

believe that the ink color did not affect them. Results supported both of our hypotheses.
Participants in our red condition solved fewer anagrams than those in the green and black
condition, whose performance did not differ. Also participants did not believe that ink color had
any effect on their anagram performance. If participants who were given instructions in red ink
were unaware of the influence the color red had on their performance, what would happen if
participants were forewarned about the influence of color on performance? Would participants
given instructions in red ink perform much worse while participants given black ink instructions
perform much better in the anagram task? Would there be no change in performance? Will we
see other changes? We will explore the influence of forewarning on our second study.
Study Two
As social creatures, humans are constantly influencing and being influenced by the
environment. For example, color has the ability to affect people’s behavioral responses.
However, people may be unaware of these influences on their opinions, behaviors, and actions.
Would forewarning of these influences change the ways in which people otherwise react in a
particular situation? The central aim of our second study is to examine the impact that
forewarning has on performance. Specifically, we want to examine the impact that forewarning
on the negative effects of the color red has on anagram performance.
A study conducted by Petty and Cacioppo (1977), examined the effects that forewarning
about the content of a message had on resisting persuasion. In one if their experiments,
researchers wanted to see if participants who were forewarned about the content of a message
produced counterarguments because they were motivated to do so. Sixty introduction to
psychology students were randomly assigned to the study conditions: warning and instructed to
write topic thoughts, no warning and instructed to write topic thoughts, warning and instructed to
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 10

write actual thoughts, no warning and instructed to write actual thoughts. Students were told that
a psychologist from the counseling center was going to speak to them. Before the psychologist
gave his speech, they were given a questionnaire to complete. Participants in the warning
condition read that the psychologist will be talking about why all freshmen and sophomores
should be required to live on campus (a topic in which the students’ opinions differed from those
of the speaker). Participants in the no warning condition read that the psychologist will be talking
about conclusions he generated in his time working at the counseling center. After a silent three
minutes, participants were asked to move on to the next part of the questionnaire. The next part
asked participants in the actual thoughts condition to record all the thoughts they had during the
last three minutes. Participants in the topic thought condition were asked to record their thoughts
on the matter of freshmen and sophomores being required to live on campus. Afterwards, the
psychologist gave his speech on why freshmen and sophomores should be required to live on
campus. Results showed that participants in the warned condition and the no warning but
instructed to write topic thoughts condition had more resistance to persuasion because thinking
about the topic allowed them to come up with counterarguments.
Leon, Rotunda, Sutton, and Schlossman (2003), studied the influence of online
forewarning on ratings of attraction. Participants were randomly assigned to the forewarning
group or the no forewarning group. All of the participants used a computer to go to the web page
that contained a general statement about the Internet. Participants in the forewarning condition
additionally received information about the use of deception in the Internet. The next part of the
study consisted of navigating through four web pages that contained photographs of a person of
the opposite sex. The participant then rated the attractiveness of each photo and answered
questions about the likeliness of interacting with the person whose photo they saw. Results
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 11

showed that participants forewarned about the use of deception on the Internet perceived the
photo shown as less attractive than those who were not forewarned about the use of deception.
They were also less likely to express the desire of further interaction with the person through
engaging in online chats. These results were consistent with those of Petty and Cacioppo (1977)
in the idea that when forewarned of persuasiveness, people will become more resistant to that
persuasion. In this case, participants became more resistant to deception. In the case of our
second study, we predict that participants forewarned about the influence of red on anagram
performance will perform better than those who were not forewarned due to participants
developing resistance.
Weber and Bizer (2006), studied the effects that forewarning about exam difficulty had
on test performance. The researchers hypothesized that forewarning of test difficulty would
boost performance in students with low anxiety but decrease performance in students with high
anxiety. Before random assignment into one of the three experimental conditions, researchers
measured the level of dispositional anxiety each participant had by having them complete a trait
anxiety questionnaire. Participants were randomly assigned to: the forewarned condition in
which they were told that the test was difficult, the forewarned condition in which they were told
that the test would be easy, or the no forewarning condition. Then participants were told that they
would be completing a version of a previous GRE and that this test should be taken seriously.
Results showed that students with low trait anxiety performed better when forewarned about the
test being difficult as opposed to easy. Students with high trait anxiety performed worse when
forewarned that the test would be difficult as opposed to easy.
To expand further research on the topic of forewarning, we have devised a study that
looks at the effect that forewarning of the color red has on anagram performance. Participants
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 12

were randomly assigned to a forewarning or a no forewarning condition. In the no forewarning
condition participants were given an anagram task with instructions written in either red or black
ink. In the forewarning condition participants were informed about the effect that the color red
has on performance before given an anagram task with instruction written in either red or black
ink.
In accordance with study one, we predicted that participants who were given red ink
instructions will solve fewer anagrams than those given black ink. We also predicted that those
given a warning about ink color and anagram performance will perform better on the anagram
task as compared to those who were not forewarned. We predicted that frustration will impact
participants’ performance. Specifically, we predicted that those in the black ink condition
regardless of warning will find the anagram task less frustrating than those in the red ink
condition. Those in the red ink condition who were forewarned will find the task less frustrating
than those who were not forewarned. We expected no difference in the level of frustration of
those in the black ink condition who received a warning. We predicted that when asked how
frustrating they thought other participants found the task, there will be no difference in the red
ink and black ink conditions. We also predicted that those in the red ink condition would feel
they would have performed better if they were not forewarned vs. those in the black ink
condition who would feel forewarning would not have made a difference in their performance.
Methods
Participants
There were 227 participants in study two. Of these, 82 were male (37.1%) and 139 were
female (62.9%). The age of the sample ranged from 15 to 63 (M = 23.51, SD = 7.58). This
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 13

included 14.4% Caucasian (N = 32), 68.5% Hispanic (N = 152), 9.0% African American (N =
20), 1.4% Asian (N = 3), and 6.8% of participants reporting “other” (N = 15).
Materials and Procedure
Potential participants were asked to partake in an online study with the benefit of aiding
the completion of our research. If the potential participant agreed to take part in the study, he or
she was given the link of the online survey created through Qualtrics, a survey software. Before
starting the survey, the participants were presented with an online consent form that informed
them of the possible risks and benefits of participating in the study, and had to indicate their
agreement by clicking the “I choose to participate” button in order to continue with the study.
Our study two was composed of four parts and used the same color manipulation as in study one,
but instead of three conditions we used two conditions (red ink and black ink).
In the first part of the study, participants were randomly assigned to one of four
conditions: forewarning red, forewarning black, no forewarning red, no forewarning black. In the
forewarning red condition, participants were forewarned about the color red and then given
instructions written in red ink. In the forewarning black condition, participants were forewarned
about the color red and then given instructions written in black ink. In the no forewarning red
condition, participants were not forewarned about the color red and received instructions written
in red ink. In the no forewarning black condition, participants were not forewarned about the
color red and received instructions written in black ink. Participants in the forewarning condition
were given a statement that read “The color red may carry the meaning of failure and avoidance
in achievement contexts. It may unconsciously affect levels of frustration and anxiety, which in
turn leads to poor performance levels. Prior research suggests that participants whom are given
instructions in red may experience higher levels of frustration and solve fewer anagrams than
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 14

participants given instructions in black”. All participants received anagram tests with identical
parts and only differentiated in the color of the instructions (red ink or black ink).
Resembling study one, the second part of the study exposed participants to the
instructions of the anagram test which were written in either red ink or black ink. Once the
participants read the instructions they had to click the “continue” button to begin the anagram
test. The test used different anagrams from those of study one. The anagram test consisted of 20
scrambled words and the participant had to unscramble as many as they could in three minutes.
A timer on the computer screen indicated when the three minutes had passed. After the three
minutes, participants were able to view the answers to the anagram test and calculate their score.
One point was given for each right answer.
In the third part of the study, participants were presented with seven questions about the
anagram task they completed. These seven questions were part of our dependent variables. The
first question asked the participants to record how many anagrams they correctly solved. The
second question gave us insight as to whether the participants were attentive to the color
manipulation. This second question asked the participants to recall the color of the ink used for
the instructions (black, red, green, or blue). On the last five questions the participants recorded
their responses on a scale of one to nine. In these questions participants recorded how
challenging the task was for them (1 = not at all challenging, 9 = very challenging), how
frustrating they found the task (1 = not at all frustrating, 9 = very frustrating), if they thought
forewarning of the effects of the color red on performance would cause someone to perform
better or worse than someone not warned (1 = worse than someone not warned, 9 = better than
someone not warned), to what extent the color ink on the instructions influenced their
performance (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 = increased my number correct), and to what
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 15

extent did being forewarned influence their performance (1 = decreased my number correct, 9 =
increased my number correct).
The fourth part of our study asked for the participants’ demographic information. These
questions asked for their gender, age, ethnicity, if English was their first language, if they were a
student at Florida International University, and if they were colorblind. After completing the
study, the participants were debriefed on the study conditions and hypothesis.
Our study two consisted of seven dependent variables; however, our main interest was
the number of anagrams participants correctly solved. Another dependent variable we analyzed
was the extent participants thought that being forewarned influenced their performance. We also
analyzed the interaction between ink color and forewarning.
Results
A manipulation check using color manipulation (red or black ink) as the independent
variable and the color ink participants recalled seeing as the dependent variable was significant,
χ2 (1) = 31.62, p < .001. Most participants in the red ink condition correctly recalled that the
instructions were written in red (65%) while most participants in the black in condition correctly
recalled that the instructions were written in black (67.7%). Phi showed a medium effect. This
indicated that participants were cognizant of the ink color in the instructions (See Appendix A).
To evaluate our main dependent variable, we ran a 2 X 2 factorial ANOVA with color
condition (red v. black) and forewarning condition (forewarning v. no forewarning) as our
independent variables and the number of anagrams participants correctly solved as our dependent
variable. There was no main effect for forewarning, F(1, 223) = 2.68, p > .05. This indicated that
there was no difference in the number of anagrams correctly solved in the no forewarning (M =
8.31, SD = 4.49) versus forewarning (M = 9.13, SD = 4.83) conditions. We found a significant
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 16

condition effect for the color condition, F(1, 223) = 8.70, p < .05. Participants solved more
anagrams in the black condition (M = 9.53, SD = 4.87) than the red condition (M = 7.74, SD =
4.24). We also analyzed the interaction between the independent variables (color condition and
forewarning condition) and the dependent variable (number of anagrams correct). We found a
significant interaction effect between color condition and forewarning condition, F(1, 223) =
8.07, p < .05. First, in the red condition, simple effects showed that participants solved more
anagrams in the forewarning condition (M = 9.10, SD = 4.40) than the no forewarning condition
(M = 6.40, SD = 3.64), F(1, 101) = 11.48, p < .05. Second, in the black condition, simple effects
showed that participants solved a similar number of anagrams in the forewarning (M = 9.16, SD
= 5.19) and no forewarning (M = 9.89, SD = 4.54) conditions, F(1, 122) = 0.69, p > .05. Third,
for participants in the no forewarning condition, simple effects tests showed they solved more
anagrams in the black condition (M = 9.89, SD = 4.54) than the red condition (M = 6.40, SD =
3.64), F(1, 113) = 19.98, p < .05. Fourth, for participants who were forewarned, simple effect
tests showed that they solved a similar number of anagrams in the red (M = 9.10, SD = 4.40) and
black (M = 9.16, SD = 5.19) conditions, F(1, 110) = .005, p > .05 (See Appendix B).
Another dependent variable we were interested in was the extent participants thought that
being forewarned influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved. To evaluate this, we
ran another 2 X 2 ANOVA with color condition (red v. black) and forewarning condition
(forewarning v. no forewarning) as our independent variables and participant belief of
forewarning influence as our dependent variable. There was no main effect for forewarning, F(1,
220) = 0.03, p > .05. This meant that participants did not think being forewarned influenced the
number of anagrams they correctly solved. Participants in the forewarning condition (M = 5.05,
SD = 1.59) did not differ from those in the no forewarning condition (M = 5.04, SD = 1.45).
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 17

Likewise, there was no main effect for the color condition, F(1, 220) = 0.23, p > .05. Participants
in the red condition (M = 5.10, SD = 1.62) and participants in the black condition (M = 5.00, SD
= 1.44) did not think forewarning influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved.
Additionally, there was no significant interaction effect of forewarning and color condition F(1,
220) = 0.94, p > .05. Participants in the forewarning red condition (M = 5.22, SD = 1.53),
forewarning black condition (M = 4.92, SD = 1.65), no forewarning red condition (M = 4.98, SD
= 1.73), or no forewarning black condition (M = 5.08, SD = 1.21) did not think that being
forewarned influenced the number of anagrams they correctly solved (See Appendix C).
Discussion
In accordance with study one, we predicted a main effect for the color condition, with
participants given red ink performing worse on the anagram task than those given black ink. We
also predicted that those given a warning about ink color and anagram performance would
perform better on the anagram task compared to those who were not forewarned. Additionally,
we predicted that those in the red ink condition would feel they would have performed better if
they were not forewarned vs. those in the black ink condition who would feel forewarning would
not have made a difference in their performance. Results supported only our first hypothesis.
Consistent with study one, participants given instructions in red ink solved fewer anagrams than
those who were given instructions in black ink. Results did not support our hypothesis that
forewarning alone would increase performance on the anagram task. There was actually no
difference in the number of anagrams correctly solved in the forewarning and no forewarning
condition; however, there was an interaction between the forewarning condition and the color
condition. Participants who were given instructions in red ink and had no forewarning solved
fewer anagrams than all the other participants. Participants in the black ink and red ink
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 18

conditions who were forewarned solved a similar number of anagrams. This result may be due to
participants in the forewarning condition being able to ignore the red ink color. Results did not
support our last hypothesis that participants in the red ink condition who were forewarned would
feel they would have performed better if they were not forewarned. All participants, regardless of
condition, believed that forewarning did not influence the number of anagrams they correctly
solved.
General Discussion
In assessing the effect of color priming on anagram performance, we predicted that
instructions written in red ink would impair performance. This hypothesis was supported in both
study one and study two. In both studies participants given instructions written in red ink
performed much worse than those given instructions in either green or black ink. These findings
reinforce the conclusion of Elliot et al. (2007) that red impairs performance on achievement tasks
because it activates avoidance motivation and is associated with the danger of failure. The results
of study one also revealed that participants were unaware of the effect ink color had on their
performance. Such findings suggest that when administering or taking part in an achievement
task one should be cautious as to priming the color red. For example, teachers often administer
different versions of an exam in an effort to reduce cheating. Such versions of the exam are
usually color coded. As a result, teachers must take care not to use the color red on such versions
otherwise students given a version with the color red may perform worse than other students.
Regarding the effect that forewarning about the negative influence that the color red has
on performance, we predicted that participants who were forewarned would perform better on
the anagrams task than those who were not forewarned. By itself, forewarning did not produce
any effect in the number of anagrams solved in the forewarning and no forewarning conditions.
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 19

However, participants who were not forewarned and were given instructions in red ink
performed worse than all other participants, whereas those who were forewarned and received
instructions in red ink performed equally well as participants who were given instructions in
black ink. These findings are similar to those of Petty and Cacioppo (1977) and those of Leon,
Rotunda, Sutton, and Schlossman (2003) in that forewarning of a particular influence may lead
to resisting that influence. In the case of study two, forewarning of the negative effect of the
color red may have led participants to ignore the color red while completing the anagram task.
This resulted in counteracting the negative effect that instructions written in red ink had. Going
back to the example of administering a test, it may be helpful to inform students of a possible
effect that color in the test versions may have on their performance and to ask them to ignore the
color.
There were several possible limitations to our study. Our study used a small number of
participants which may have affected the results. Also most of our participants were college
students. The level of interest and attention that each participant paid to the anagram task as well
as the honesty of their answers were also possible limitations. Possible problems with the online
survey may have surfaced, such as answers being marked wrong when they were right. Future
studies may recruit a larger and more diverse pool of participants. If specifically looking at how
the color red may impact test performance, it would be wise to use a classroom setting as most
tests are administered in a classroom full of people. In addition, just as tests are administered to
people at a certain level of knowledge it may be useful to use anagrams that match the cognitive
level of the individual. Administering an anagram to a twelve-year-old could have different
results than administering the same anagram task to a thirty-year-old. Future research may also
COLOR PRIMING AND FOREWARNING 20

measure individuals’ anxiety levels before and after the test to see how the color red directly
influences anxiety and to what extent that influences performance.
Colors are an essential part of life and may have the potential to influence our thoughts,
behaviors, and actions in more ways than we think. The present study found that the color red
unconsciously impaired performance on an anagram test. This is an important finding that
schools and test administrators should find useful. Students spend the majority of their time in
school and being administered different tests, it is important to know that the use of red in any
part of examinations should be avoided as to prevent students performing lower than their
potential.

QUESTION 8. What did they find in study two? Give the general outcome

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Expert Answer

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Here in the study two a hypothesis test was performed to check if the forewarning has any impact on the actions of people in particular situation.

there were studies on following conditions

1. effects of forewarning about the content message had on resisting persuation and found that participants instructed to write topic thoughts condition had more resistance to persuasion because thinking about the topic allowed them to come up with counterarguments.

2. Influence of online forewarning on ratings of attraction and found that forewarned of persuasiveness, people will bec...

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