Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Book 1 Revised Edition

If you use social media you may have been exposed to cognitive priming without realising it. Can you explain how? An issue to consider A1 Cognitive approach Learners must be able to understand and apply knowledge of key concepts to explain aspects of human behaviour, including: ● Cognitive priming, including the role of cognitive scripts and dierent types of priming (repetition, semantic and associative). Specification content A psychologist asked Shazia, Keira and Lennie to read a brief passage and then complete a word task. The passage described the layout of a doctor’s surgery. The task was to complete words with missing letters, e.g. N_ _S_ (NURSE). Other students also completed the word task but did not read the passage ›rst. 1. Describe the nding you would expect the psychologist to get. (2 marks) 2. Using your knowledge of cognitive priming, explain why you would expect to get this nding. (3 marks) 3. (a) State what is meant by ‘semantic priming’. (1 mark) (b) Give one example of any type of priming from everyday life. (1 mark) 4. Bruno watches a lot of TV cookery shows such as Masterchef. He enjoys seeing the chefs’ skills at work, and also looking at the delicious food. Whenever Bruno watches a show, he cooks himself a big dinner with lots of cream and butter. Explain, using a key concept from cognitive psychology, why Bruno cooks himself a big dinner. (3 marks) 5. Brie«y evaluate the key concept you used in your previous answer as a way of explaining Bruno’s behaviour. (3 marks) Exam-style questions Evaluation Practical applications One strength is that priming can help us to understand and prevent cognitive causes of obesity. The study by Harris et al. (see facing page) showed that advertising can affect how many snacks people eat because of cognitive priming. Once we understand the effects of priming we may be able to prevent this in«uence (or direct the in«uence towards healthy eating instead). This means that education and legislation (although politically difficult) could help to prevent obesity. Research support Another strength is that research shows how priming may explain a possible link between video gaming and aggression. In a study by Ingrid Möller and Barbara Krahé (2009), students read a scenario in which someone is accidentally pushed so they spill their drink. Students who frequently played violent video games were much more likely than other students to interpret the push as deliberate. They were also more likely to choose physical aggression as a suitable response. This shows that playing violent video games may prime some people to think and behave aggressively, supporting the concept of associative priming. Lack of replication One weakness of cognitive priming is that it is very difficult to study. This makes it difficult to replicate research ndings. Replication is an important feature of science. If a study is repeated using exactly the same procedure and produces the same nding, then we know that the outcome is not a «uke and it is more likely to represent something real. But when researchers replicate priming studies, they o¡en get different ndings. This suggests that the concept of priming is not scienti c which means we cannot be con dent that the theories are correct. Sabiha and Imy Sabiha’s friends all watch the popular series Game of Thrones, so she decided to read about it and watch an episode. By the end of the day, she had seen or heard the word ‘throne’ in lots of different places – in overheard conversations, on Instagram, even in her college textbooks. 1. What type of cognitive priming is this? 2. Describe another type of priming that Sabiha might have experienced. Imy went to the surgery to see her doctor for a check-up. Afterwards, on the bus journey home, she realised the two people in front of her were nurses. Imy also remembered she needed to buy some paracetamol. 3. Identify this type of cognitive priming and explain how it works in Imy’s case. ACTIVE GET Cognitive priming could help us to understand how viewing screenbased adverts, vlogs and programmes affect our behaviour. Does watching violent programmes prime us to be more aggressive? Does a ‘diet’ of food adverts prime us to eat more? 19 Copyright: Sample material