Social psychologists have long been intrigued by what they call automatic behavior–the ways people react to stimuli without consciously thinking about their actions.
All Hot And Bothered
In fact, it seems that most people can be unconsciously influenced to behave in certain ways.
For example, in one experiment, participants were told to unscramble sentences using words such as “bother”, “disturb”, and “obnoxious.”
When they completed the task, these participants were more likely to act rudely than participants who were given words such as “patient” and “appreciate.”
But wait, things get even more interesting.
After being asked to unscramble sentences using words such as “old, ancient, Florida, and retired,”
participants tended to walk more slowly when leaving the experiment, even though slowness was not mentioned.