Implicit Moral Cognition: Attractiveness and Usability in American Culture
Schneider, Andrew W.
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Priming involves an external stimulus having an effect on one's automatic behavior without the individual's conscious awareness. It has been shown that priming certain topics such as 'salvation' or 'hard work' to American participants can change their attitudes on sex, hedonic, and utilitarian items. Salvation priming nonconsciously activates the attitudes that pleasurable things are bad, and working hard is good. These implicit attitudes in American culture originate from America's protestant/puritan heritage. Study 1 shows that when Americans are primed with salvation they perceive utilitarian items as more attractive than hedonic items. Neutrally primed participants will exhibit the opposite preference, and show a predilection towards hedonic items. Study 2 shows that salvation primed participants complete more anagrams in an anagram task, and perceive utilitarian items as more attractive and usable. However, neutrally primed participants complete fewer anagrams and perceive hedonic items as more attractive and usable. These studies will show that it is possible to increase both the perceived and actual usability of a product, as well as the products attractiveness by changing the way a user perceives an object.