Knowledge activation.

Jens Förster, Nira Liberman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we first propose some working definitions of priming effects as distinct from other effects of prior information processing on further target perception. Then, in the second part we review the main findings within the vast field of social psychological research on knowledge accessibility, including perceptual readiness, retrieval from memory, disambiguation, the effects of priming related to behavior and motivation, procedural priming, affective and evaluative priming, and chronic accessibility. The third part examines some theoretical principles that emerge from this review--including factors affecting decay rates and intensity of priming, how accessibility from different sources combines, and how applicability and accessibility compensate for each other. The fourth part examines metacognitive processes related to priming, and the fifth part examines the possible function of different priming effects--what do they serve and what would moderate such effects. The final part examines some applications of the principles of accessibility in social psychology. Specifically, we discuss using affective priming to measure attitudes, to assess motivations and personal concerns, and to understand processes of thought suppression. We do not review models of accessibility as these have been examined in detail elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial psychology
Subtitle of host publicationHandbook of basic principles
PublisherGuilford Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)1-57230-918-0
StatePublished - 2007


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