Priming, movies and mindset. Ever bought a drink thinking you craved it and on the way back from the shop realised that you passed 5 billboards where a drink is displayed without realising. Or you’re in the cinema and find yourself buying more snacks then usual or quickly going to get a snack during the advertisements before the movie starts. These are examples of the most commonly known forms of priming in advertising. But how much have you been primed and does it have an affect on your mindset and thoughts.
Priming in advertisements is a well discussed topic but is this the only form of priming that affects our moods or buying behaviour? Of course it’s not! Think of the millions spent for an advertisement during the NFL Superbowl or by companies that want their product placed in a movie. It’s not only about being in the public eye it is also about how the product is placed and displayed. For example chances are slim that you will find a villain holding an iPhone in a movie. If product placement in a movie has such an effect on our subconscious that companies pay top dollar, how much effect does the movie itself have?
One of the fears surrounding violent movies is that they normalise violence, which is also the reason that the movie rating system was developed to protect the youth. However movies can also cause one to have certain expectations. Ask anyone who watched the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy during their youth pre 2000, if our current technological level is living up to the expectations they had.
I think most will say that they secretly expected further advancements on certain fronts. Science fiction expectations are one thing but what about expectations on other fronts. Are your romance expectations purely based on your own thoughts, parents relationship, or have they been formed by how relationships are being portrayed in movies in media? Does your expectation of society partially stem from what you have seen in movies?
You are probably coming to the conclusions that yes media has had an influence on these aspects of your life and more.
If you have watched a lot of dystopian movies your thoughts tend to see things through a more dystopian lens but the other side of the coin also applies. Knowing this you can use also use movies/media to influence your mind and prime your expectations.
By carefully curating what you watch you can normalise certain thought patterns. The more movies you watch with stories on how main characters overcome obstacles, the more you prime yourself into believing you can overcome yours.
The more movies you watch about people successfully starting businesses the more you start seeing it as a possibility for you to successfully start one. I can go on about how you can use movies to your advantage but this doesn’t only apply to movies but also to other media you consume. And priming is not only done via media but you can also create routines to prime yourself. Consciously priming yourself can lead to various benefits such as decreasing stress and anxiety, creating better study and work habits.
Priming, movies and mindset
There have been various studies done on priming and how it affects our behaviour. From the different types of priming, such as associative priming and masked priming. To how its effect on long term memory and emotions.
The question I leave you with is if there is a possibility that movies are actively being used to set expectations or normalise ideas for the future of our society?
Let me know your thoughts!