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Primed for Resolution

Scientists are finding that words and objects around us influence our choices, motivations, and goals.  This article explores the new research on how environmental stimuli can unconsciously influence our thoughts and choices, and ways to use this knowledge to the benefit a mediator’s work.  Over recent decades, scientists have been able to unconsciously activate or “prime” attitudes and concepts such as aggression, cooperation or loyalty.  This is done by exposing individuals to relevant external stimulus–usually a word or object that can be invisible (a microsecond flash on a computer screen) or perfectly obvious (words related to “cooperate” scattered throughout a “sentence scramble” exercise).   The key is that the effect of these stimuli takes place entirely outside of our awareness or conscious intent. Read More

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