Have you been primed recently?

I have a tendency to buy books and read them later.  One I bought many months ago was “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.  This is not a new book, but the implications this book describes are so wide ranging and impactful that I feel compelled to share a few items with you because they are of such great value.

One of the concepts covered in this book is that of priming.  Priming in your brain occurs when you are exposed to certain ideas or photos over a period of time.  These inputs then cause your brain to think and respond in a certain manner.  Let me share an example:

If you read about or see food and then are given the following word with a missing letter I suspect I know how you will answer:


If you had been exposed to cleaning items or hygiene products, your answer might be quite different.

In the first case, you would probably fill in the blank with an “u”, spelling the word soup.

In the latter case, you would have probably filled in an “a”, spelling the word soap.

The impacts of this are wide ranging and this tendency is exploited often by those in the marketing and media world.

The phrase “if you hear something often enough, it becomes a fact” has never been more true than in our world today.  With all of the discussion of “fake news” our brains direct us to believe what we see, based on how often we see it in print or described.  We cannot help ourselves.

In all of these cases, your brain is the victim of priming.

Be aware of the world around you and be cautious in how what you see and hear has an impact on how you respond and act.

Don’t allow yourself to be primed too often.