SEMANTIC PRIMING EFFECT ON SURVEY RESULTS
This article presents the findings of an experimental study focusing on the effect of semantic priming on survey respondents. The study involved manipulation of survey questions so that one version included priming triggers and the other one did not. The two versions of the survey were tested on two groups of Canadians (50 respondents each). The results confirmed the authors’ hypotheses, as they demonstrated that the inclusion of the priming triggers activated the relevant concepts in respondents’ minds and, as a result, they included concepts similar to those triggers in their responses to open-ended questions. To be precise, respondents who were exposed to priming triggers “one”, “first” and “three”, as well as “saving on food”, were significantly more likely to say they shop one or three times a week and to recall the grocery store “Save-On-Foods” in an unaided recall qustion. The findings in this study have theoretical and empirical significance and should be taken into consideration by all the researchers who design questionnaires in their research projects. Based on this research, one can conclude that a researcher who designs questionnaires should be cautions and make sure to sequence questions in a way that would minimize the priming effect on questions following priming triggers.