Can people be nonconsciously primed to be more or less helpful when giving directions? An insight into the successful communication of directions.
Johnstone 2011 MA.doc (312.5Kb)
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The effect of a prime (helpful or unhelpful) was measured on the subsequent behaviour of participants giving directions to another from a route provided on a map. The prime was delivered through a word search containing semantically related words. The accuracy of the followers map was calculated to determine how effective the directions given were. The results of this study provide evidence in support of the word search prime format, as the copied maps from pairs with a helpful prime were more accurate. Differences were also found in the way that the routes were communicated between the pairs. It is important to be sensitive to feedback from listeners in order for communication to be successful; however, explicit sharing of common ground does not always appear to be required.