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Title:Concept associations as the basis of social priming
Author(s):Salomon, Erika C
Director of Research:Kraus, Michael W
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cimpian, Andrei
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Fraley, R Chris; Preston, Jesse L; Roberts, Brent
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social cognition
Concept associations
Abstract:Social priming has been a fundamental methodological practice in experimental social psychology for decades; however recent failures to replicate priming studies have cast some doubt on the robustness of subtle primes’ influence on social behavior. The present research attempts to resolve this uncertainty by advancing the perspective that the robustness of social priming effects can be predicted a priori from the strength of the concept association under study. Across eight studies, reported without publication bias, I found that the observed strength of concept pair associations (Studies 1 and P1) from the priming literature predicted my capacity to observe (Studies 2, P2, and P5) or not (Studies 2, P3, P4, and P5) social priming effects. An attempt to strengthen a concept association and test the causal role of association strength (Study 3) resulted in no difference in concept associations and no priming. Overall, I find that social priming effects occur only for the most strongly related concept pairs and that easily measured explicit associations are useful for predicting these effects. I conclude that estimating the strength of underlying concept associations is critical for planning, interpreting, and reporting priming studies.
Issue Date:2016-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Erika Salomon
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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