Priming effect

Research. College students filled out a test with a distinctive citrus-scented smell in the room and others completed it in a room with no smell. When the students were given a crumbly cookie to eat, they found that students in the room with the citrus smell kept their environment far tidier without even being aware of the priming smell.

Holland et al. (2005) Smells like clean spirit: Nonconscious effects ofscent on cognition and behavior.

“The smallest seed of an idea can grow.”

Case study. A small image, with a pair of eyes, was placed on the wall near the honesty box at a school cafeteria. Teachers paid almost 3 times the amount for milk consumed, on days when there was an image of eyes compared to an image of flowers.

Thought starters.

» Visual - Try visual graphics that get people to rethink decisions » Language - Use words that relate to the desired behaviour » Sound and smell - Prompts that trigger past memories and associations