Experiments with People: Revelations from Social Psychology

By Robert P. Abelson; Kurt P. Frey et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

13
I Think, Therefore I Act:
Priming Intelligence
With Social Stereotypes

“The definition of genius is that it acts unconsciously; and those who have produced immortal works, have done so without knowing how or why. The greatest power operates unseen.

—William Hazlitt (1778–1830), English essayist


BACKGROUND

One day, a young man drives past a giant billboard. On it is a colorful advertisement for vacations in Iceland. The most eye-catching feature is an elegant Nordic lady provocatively sipping a chilled cocktail. The man pays hardly any attention—a week in the frozen tundra is just not his idea of an exotic getaway. Some weeks later, however, he finds himself quite unaccountably on a plane bound for Reykjavik. How could the advertisement, so briefly sighted, have prompted such a drastic change in attitude? The answer becomes apparent on closer inspection. The glass in the lady's hand contained a number of ice-cubes. Within these ice-cubes, obscured by patterns of refracted light, lay the sultry image of a naked woman. The man unconsciously perceived this woman as he drove by. She then lodged in his mind, and became permanently linked to all things Icelandic. Thereafter, every time his restless libido stirred, he felt the North Atlantic calling to him like a siren. Eventually he felt compelled to buy a flight ticket.

According to Key (1981), such subliminal seduction is rife. Advertising agencies everywhere deliberately embed sexual images in their ads to beguile us into purchasing their products. Knowing that our conscious minds will likely reject their pitch, they seek to win over our unconscious minds. And, because our unconscious minds ultimately cause everything we do,

-151-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Experiments with People: Revelations from Social Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 358

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?