Influencing Willingness to Pay By Supraliminally Priming the Concept of Honesty

Robert Schorn, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Barbara Maurhart, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Previous research has shown that priming can be used to influence peoples’ perception, evaluations, motivations, and even behavior. Most of these studies have been conducted using laboratory experiments. We examined whether supraliminal priming can be effectively applied to affect peoples’ behavior in a real consumption situation. In an experiment to test if supraliminally priming the concept of honesty via “mirrored words” influences peoples’ behavior, we found that users of a toilet contributed significantly more money for using the bathroom when being primed with the concept of honesty than when that concept had not been primed. Implications and ethical considerations are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Robert Schorn and Barbara Maurhart (2009) ,"Influencing Willingness to Pay By Supraliminally Priming the Concept of Honesty", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 463-466.