By Reap Paden
Priming is in essence a form of cheating or giving hints. It is done in many different aspects of our lives but today lets concentrate on how it relates to the paranormal and hopefully help some people to understand what they see, hear or read is not always what they should believe.
There is one form of priming that has always made me extremely uncomfortable, it involves EVP. When someone is sharing an EVP and tells you what you are going to hear or even suggests "this is very scary" they have negated any unbiased opinion of that EVP. It has been tainted and once that occurs people can not just become unaffected by the primer. It is sort of like in front of a jury when a lawyer objects. The jury can be told to disregard whatever has been presented but the fact is they have been primed and the deed is done.
The telephone that talks to the dead is another good example of 'self-priming' when you ask a question you are going to have the answer in your mind, The brain, wanting to create patterns from random noise will have a natural tendency to create the pattern you expect to hear. In the paranormal there is a incredible amount of priming going on. To be honest I do not know how to get around it in all cases but if people are aware of it going on it will at least help.
If you are going to investigate anything, including paranormal occurrences then you must factor in priming. I think that in the case of hauntings and trying to find out if there is any actual activity going on ignorance is needed to help find truth. Don't worry being ignorant is not bad, we all are ignorant about some things. It is those who keep their ignorance and allow it to grow who become stupid.
Another form of priming is environmental priming. If a place seems spooky to some one then naturally they are going to expect strange things to occur. Now don't go blindfolding all your team members but when you are studying the results of an investigation keep in mind that some people's accounts of events may be affected by this.
If you think you have an EVP that says something, play it for people by all means but please do not prime them in any way. Just ask them to listen. Then record what they say they heard, play it for several people and record the responses. This won't be undeniable proof of course but I will bet the range of answers you get will cause you to think twice when you assume what you hear is what everyone else will hear.
Now you have been primed to do things using common sense..........