Tutorial: Subliminal Priming Task

Download script for this tutorial.

This tutorial explains how to build a simple subliminal priming experiment such as that described by Draine and Greenwald (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1998). On each trial, subjects are shown a subliminal (masked) prime word followed immediately by a target word. Primes and targets are divided into two definitional categories: pleasant (e.g., love) or unpleasant (e.g., death). Subjects are instructed to ignore the primes and classify the targets as pleasant (by pressing the "5" key on the number pad) or unpleasant (by pressing the "a" key). Each trial falls into one of four experimental conditions depending on the category (pleasant or unpleasant) of prime and target presented:

  1. pleasant prime with pleasant target (congruent)

  2. pleasant prime with unpleasant target (incongruent)

  3. unpleasant prime with pleasant target (incongruent)

  4. unpleasant prime with unpleasant target (congruent)

Longer Reaction Times and/or higher error rates on trials in which the prime and target are incongruent compared to the condition in which the prime and target are congruent, suggest the presence of subliminal priming.

Before you Begin

  1. Download and install Inquisit Lab


Creating Text Stimuli

Creating Instructions

Creating Trials

Creating Blocks

Creating an Experiment

Creating Text Stimuli