SennsLab: Guide to the Semantic Priming Template

The Semantic Priming Template in SennsLab

The semantic priming template is used to measure the strength of the relative association between two categories and a series of attributes that are used to "prime" the choice.

During an semantic priming test, the participant will be asked to assign one of two images into two defined categories after viewing an attribute displayed as a priming text.  The algorithm will look at the response time as a way of determining unconscious association that text attribute and the category/brand/etc.

The semantic priming test is an Implicit Response template.

To set up a semantic priming experiment:

  1. Define Categories - This test will compare two categories against each other (i.e. two brands, products, etc).  These are defined in the text boxes labeled "Category 1" and "Category 2"

  2. Stimuli in each category - Upload an image for each category.  The images should be of equal quality and both immediately recognizable to the participants.  Use the Image 20 button to upload an image for each.  The participant will have to categorize each of these images into the categories defined in #1. 

  3. Priming stimuli count - Set here the total number of priming stimuli attributes that will be displayed to the participant, between 2 and 10.  These are the words that will appear immediately before the participant classifies the stimuli (except in the familiarization phases). 

  4. Define stimuli - The Image 20 icon is used to define each of the priming attribute stimuli on the right side.  These are typically words that you want to use to test the association with the images and brands in #1 and #2 above.  The test can not be run until each of these is defined.  Attributes should be clear and well defined, and should not be redundant.  For example, you would not use both "modern" and "futuristic" as attributes as this will complicate the analysis. 

  5. Duration - This is defined automatically by the software, and generally will be between 5-10 minutes.  Remember to pilot the test. 

  6. Sequence - This is also defined automatically.  The test will consist of four blocks: 

    1. Block 1 is a familiarization block where the participant has to categorize the images into the two groups

    2. Block 2 is the actual test where the images are classified after a priming word

    3. Block 3 is another familiarization task but with the categories reversed

    4. Block 4 is the test again, with priming before each image, with the categories reversed. 

Note:  For more information about implicit response tests in general, see our entry here.