This study is focused on the effects psychological priming has on low to average performing high school sophomores and juniors, in regards to their SAT scores. The brain is constantly receiving stimuli and utilizes memories to correctly respond to the situation at hand. Thus, the environment and the information it yields directly or indirectly affects a person’s mindset at a subconscious level. This is known as psychological priming. Prior studies have found that the subconscious can often control not only one's mood, but also one’s actions and thoughts. This study builds upon a foundation of research focused on both student-impacting stereotypes (Steele, 1999) and studies that focused on motivation (Dweck, 2006). My previous research in this field indicated that there is a significant correlation between presenting students with a fact-based article that iterates the power of the human brain and higher scores on mock passages from the SAT. This study is specifically focused on student group with a high minority percentage, compared to the overall sample school. When the psychological priming was applied to students where race-based stereotypes were activated, they performed significantly better than the control group where the negative stereotypes were not activated. This was shown through a p-value of .07 (when compared to an α =.05), thus there is not significant evidence to conclude that positive, potential-based priming is an effective way to overcome the racial stereotypes hindering impact on student's performance on SAT Reading Test, within the population constraints of the study.
Cole, Jessica A.
"Overcoming Stereotypes That Hinder Academic Performance Through Psychological Priming,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 15:
2, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol15/iss2/12