Can people’s motivations to perform in a task be nonconsciously primed? An exploration of whether people can be nonconsciously primed to be more helpful or unhelpful when carrying out a direction giving task.
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This paper looks at the possibility of people having their motivations for performing in a task nonconsciously manipulated. In particular, the experiment looked at whether people can be nonconsciosuly primed to be more helpful or unhelpful when giving directions. This was achieved through having a participant carry out a priming word search task that contained a number of words semantically related to the priming condition. This participant then took part in a map task that required them to describe a route to a second participant, who would draw this route onto their own map. The results found that pairs who had a helpfully primed participant were more successful in the task than those with an unhelpully primed participant. Therefore, it concludes that people can be nonconsciously primed to be more helpful or unhelpful.