|This article is about "priming" or about how our senses when primed result in certain actions or beliefs. It sounds like people could be manipulated but researchers are merely suggesting that everyday certain things prime or ready us to do or believe certain other things. Certainly every guy reading the article immediately thinks, "Hmmmm, how can I use this information to get lucky tonight?" Of course, I had more noble thoughts, how could it apply to church. Read this snippet from the article:|
In a recent experiment, psychologists at Yale altered people’s judgments of a stranger by handing them a cup of coffee.I wonder how this happens in the church. I wonder how our church facilities and people 'prime' those who attend or drive by. The smells, colors, furniture, arrangement, decor and art or lack thereof, etc. -- how are they priming people? Do we even care? Is there any way to condense the vast studies done in this area for a primer for church leaders?
The study participants, college students, had no idea that their social instincts were being deliberately manipulated. On the way to the laboratory, they had bumped into a laboratory assistant, who was holding textbooks, a clipboard, papers and a cup of hot or iced coffee — and asked for a hand with the cup.
That was all it took: The students who held a cup of iced coffee rated a hypothetical person they later read about as being much colder, less social and more selfish than did their fellow students, who had momentarily held a cup of hot java.
Findings like this one, as improbable as they seem, have poured forth in psychological research over the last few years. New studies have found that people tidy up more thoroughly when there’s a faint tang of cleaning liquid in the air; they become more competitive if there’s a briefcase in sight, or more cooperative if they glimpse words like “dependable” and “support” — all without being aware of the change, or what prompted it.