Elizabeth Grecco ’12 was the primary author on an article, “Use of Nonconscious Priming to Promote Self-Disclosure,” which was published in Clinical Psychological Science on Feb. 20. Co-authors included Dr. Steven Robbins, Professor and Chair of Psychology, Dr. Eleonora Bartoli, Assistant Professor and Director of Psychology, and Dr. Ned Wolff, Professor of Mathematics.
The abstract follows:
The present study examined whether nonconscious priming could increase an individual’s willingness to disclose personal experiences and thoughts to a stranger. Fifty volunteers between 18 and 35 years old were randomly assigned to one of two priming conditions. Group disclosure (n = 25) unscrambled sentences containing disclosure-related words and gave ratings to self-descriptive statements emphasizing their willingness to talk to others. Group nondisclosure (n = 25) was exposed to words and statements expressing a lack of willingness to talk to others. Following priming, both groups were asked to write two essays focused on recent personal experiences and self-reflections. Compared to group nondisclosure, group disclosure wrote significantly longer essays with significantly more statements of feelings. Both participants and researchers were blind to group assignment, and none of the participants expressed awareness of the priming manipulation during debriefing. These results demonstrate that priming can significantly increase an individual’s willingness to self-disclose upon request.