Michaeline: Prime Results

An 1890s man in a dressing gown tells a harem girl stories about her eyes.

Oh, I think I could tell you a story about his eyes! Image via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, I had a good writing week, and I’m afraid I’ve been squeeing about it in several places. It’s the first time I’ve written “The End” since the end of November 2014, so I’ve been ridiculously happy and maybe somewhat obnoxious about it. I could put a lot of qualifiers on it – it’s just a draft, it’s not even 7,000 words, there’s probably some big and gaping hole that I can’t even see in the creative afterglow – but I don’t care about that. I just want to do it again. And again. And again!

So, I’ve been searching for something I’ve done differently – something that I can adapt into some sort of talisman or ritual, something that doesn’t involve blood sacrifice or extra housework. Something that would be a pleasure to do every day.

Well, I’ve reviewed the week, and there are three things that are different.

Continue reading

Michaeline: Prime Time

Radha and Madhav have an epiphany. Wikipedia says their connections are ones of marriage and mental love. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Radha and Madhav have an epiphany. Wikipedia says their connections are ones of marriage and mental love. Image via Wikimedia Commons

So, this January I’ve been reading a couple of books that touch on the psychological process of priming. Both Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow describe some experiments about priming. The key thing is that certain words can speed our minds’ processing of related items. So if you read speedy words, you are more likely to be able to read “racecar” faster than you read, say, “turtledove.” The experiments they cite suggest that the words we read can affect aspects of our thinking beyond reading, as well.

This is really quite exciting. I mentioned it in a comment earlier, and Kay played with the idea a bit. Could reading words like “cocoa”, “festive”, “fuzzy”, and “fleece” leave one feeling warm and happy, and make one walk with a little bounce in one’s step, a whistle on one’s lips?

Well, if it works, wouldn’t that be great? So, in the name of scientific discovery, Continue reading