Priming

The last thing under the “umbrella” of framing is priming. To be honest, I didn’t know much about this until my supervisor brought it up as a potential category to look up. It’s not wholly different from framing or agenda-setting.

The concept of priming is based on the assumption that people don’t carefully weigh all possible aspects of a situation or problem when making decisions. Rather, people employ mental shortcuts when making up their minds. Every memory is stored as a node, and every node is related to another node by semantic paths. Nodes that are strongly connected to each other form a mental schema, an interpretative framework or a belief system. When an external stimulus, for instance a news headline, activates a node in this network, the entire schema gets activated and will serve as shortcut for making a decision. The more prominent the issue is in the media, the greater is its accessibility in a person’s memory.

Song of the day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWj0HWSunbA

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