– Summary: We may agree with a political view simply because we’re bobbing our head up and down (in a yes motion) to background music…or walk more slowly after hearing words subconsciously affiliated with elderliness. To achieve more we need to understand how priming works so we can better manage it.

– Post 5 of 12 explaining Off-Game impacts from People, Culture and Technology.


Things get planted in our minds. Often, we don’t pay attention to them as anything important. Colors and images of money surround us constantly, nudging our decisions in ways unforeseen. For example, a person who sees the word “yellow” will be slightly faster to recognize the word “banana.” This happens because yellow and banana are closely associated in memory. What’s going on here? Implicit memory is at work. We’re exposed to a stimulus that leads us to respond to a related stimulus later. Paraphrasing Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist, our actions and emotions are primed by events of which we are not even aware. Everything nour associative memory pulls on us.

He describes the famous “Florida effect,” in which participants walked more slowly after seeing words unconsciously affiliated with the concept “elderly.” They swore that the words had no impact on their behavior! The effect is purely subconscious and goes against our implicit and strongly held perspective that we are independent masters of our own beings who choose and control all of our actions and decisions. This means that whatever we don’t consciously notice, doesn’t impact us. The natural logic is, “We’re not aware of it, so therefore it doesn’t exist.” This makes complete sense. Yet, it’s incorrect. We’re not the only driver on the bus. Everyone on the bus impacts what we do, even when they go unnoticed.

Money is another powerful influencer, even when not consciously noticed. We sit further apart from others, are less helpful, more selfish, and have a heightened preference for being alone when unconscious images of money are nearby. We also persevere longer and ask for help less readily. In general, the idea of money makes us more individualistic and less involved with, or dependent on, others.

The full set of social influences is infinite. Actions and emotions have a collective existence.

The key question are:

  1. What types of social influences most strongly boost your focus and success?
  2. How can you experience more of them?


  1. Are the impacts you have on others what you want them to be?


Also see sister posts for the other Off-Game Impacts from People:

  1. We feel and resonate with others, whether we want to or not.
  2. You’re influencing me. We adopt others’ behaviors, emotions, motivations, and goals.
  3. Who impacted you? The influence of no interaction with people we don’t know.


For a more thorough description, go to OnYourGame.Today.

Also see posts about how Culture and Technology can work to knock us of off our game.


As always, be in touch. We love to hear about your successes!

Send in game boards, stories or questions. Go to: OnYourGame.Today/Contact