Read the two following list of words that describe two different people. One is Bad and one is Good. Which is which?
- EVIL, HATE, ANGER, JOY, CARE, LOVE
- LOVE, CARE, JOY, ANGER, HATE, EVIL
If you said #1 is Bad and #2 is Good, then congratulations you are like 99% of people who look at these lists. But you are also a victim of the priming effect. Priming is when the brain subconsciously draws a conclusion based on the first thing it sees, or upon an existing state. Since the first list of words begins with “Evil, Hate” the brain wants to make that list “Bad”. The second list begins with “Love and Care” so the brain wants to make that list “Good”. But in fact both lists are the same, just in reverse order. So both people are described with exactly the same descriptors, just in a different order. Both are equal, but the brain wants to choose and put into buckets based on first words. Beware of Priming Effect in your own decisions.