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Behavioral priming 2.0: enter a dynamical systems perspective

Krpan, Dario ORCID: 0000-0002-3420-4672 (2017) Behavioral priming 2.0: enter a dynamical systems perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (1204). ISSN 1664-1078

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Identification Number: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01204


On a daily basis, people are exposed to numerous stimuli, ranging from colors and smells to sounds and words, that could potentially activate different cognitive constructs and influence their actions. This type of influence on human behavior is referred to as priming. Roughly two decades ago, behavioral priming was hailed as one of the core forces that shape automatic behavior. However, failures to replicate some of the representative findings in this domain soon followed, which posed the following question: “How robust are behavioral priming effects, and to what extent are they actually important in shaping people’s actions?” To shed a new light on this question, I revisit behavioral priming through the prism of a dynamical systems perspective (DSP). The DSP is a scientific paradigm that has been developed through a combined effort of many different academic disciplines, ranging from mathematics and physics to biology, economics, psychology, etc., and it deals with behavior of simple and complex systems over time. In the present paper, I use conceptual and methodological tools stemming from the DSP to propose circumstances under which behavioral priming effects are likely to occur. More precisely, I outline three possible types of the influence of priming on human behavior, to which I refer as emergence, readjustment, and attractor switch, and propose experimental designs to examine them. Finally, I discuss relevant implications for behavioral priming effects and their replications.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 The Author © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 10:51
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:31

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