Long-term Effects of Subliminal Priming on Academic Performance

Topics: Education
[photo - Brian S. Lowery]
[photo - Naomi I. Eisenberger]
[photo - Stacey Sinclair]

This research examines the temporal range of subliminal priming effects on complex behavior. In experiments 1 and 2, participants were subliminally primed with words either related or unrelated to intelligence before completing a practice exam, administered one to four days before an actual course midterm. Results revealed that the intelligence primes increased performance on the midterm compared to neutral primes.  Experiment 1 demonstrated that being told that the priming task was designed to help exam performance moderated the effect of the intelligence primes. In experiment 2, practice test performance mediated the effect of the primes on midterm performance. These experiments demonstrated that subliminal priming may have long-term effects on real-world behavior, and demonstrates one means by which long-term priming effects may occur.


Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Volume 29, Issue 2 May 2007, pp.151-157

Stanford Graduate School of Business Working Paper #1946