Priming, Consistency, Cheating, and Being a Jerk at The Psychology of Video Games; My Basis for Social Experimentation with WoW's LFD Tool

Bargh, Chen, and Burrows also did another experiment where some people unscrambled sentences with words related to rudeness (bold, bother, brazen) and some worked with words indicating politeness (patiently, courteous, unobtrusively). All subjects then walked in on a staged scene where they had to interrupt a conversation to get some needed information. Those in the “polite” condition waited 9.3 minutes on average. Those in the “rude” condition jumped in after just 5.5 minutes on average.3

These are examples of what psychologists called “priming,” which is basically getting people in a particular state of mind or getting them to think about what you want them to. It’s a staple of advertising and surprisingly easy to do. I’ve been thinking for a while that game developers should take better advantage of it.

What if, for example, certain words of phrases were thrown around on loading screens between levels or in the matchmaking lobby for a multiplayer shooter? Would simply showing words like “sportsmanship” or “communication” or “fairness” prime people to behave themselves during games? If you didn’t want to be that transparent, you could include little stories, vignettes, or even comics or movies that included those words or illustrations of them. Or maybe you could use real data, like the number of heals provided by players in the previous game or awards for best defense.

This makes me wonder...

...I think I shall now try greeting every crappy LFD group (by now, I despise the dungeon finder) with some happy, perky bounces, and see if that works with priming the groups to act more decently in general, thereby improving my LFD grouping experiences.

I do usually try to greet people with at least a, 'Hullo!' However, for the purposes of this experiment, I think I'll try to be a little bit odder, and work in 'polite' words for killing everything in sight, and see if that works better.

E.g.: Woohoo! Hi guys! Lettuce go forth and politely divest all the mobbies of their tasty loot with civility and gentleness!

(Assuming they have a certain level of mastery of the English language, it should at least be 'ha, this person is odd' even if it's not actually amusing - and it will hopefully, prime everyone with polite words.)

Certainly, when I made mistakes when I started tanking again (even though only low level) for the first time in 2 years, and I explained exactly that, the group was a lot more forgiving than it would have been had I said nothing.

Pair that with how apology has the tendency (if perceived as sincere) to cancel out the effects of annoyance...

...I shall run my little social experiment and report back inna bit!

More observations:
This is the line I've been using. I've had to macro it, because groups are so gogogogogo these days I don't have TIME to type it... and I type really fast.
/p Hi guys! The PUG runs I've had from LFD lately have been great. Good, polite folk - let's hope this is one of them too.

Unfortunately, I can only do this once per run. This is a problem because of folks dropping out / being kicked, etc, and it would be suspicious to keep saying it every time someone new shows up.

Only have one sample so far, so can't really comment - off to get more!

Samples (I may split this off eventually or this will get awfully long)
With Priming
1) RFK - good
2) RFK - good
3) DM - good

4) ZF - good
5) BRD - neutral
6) BRD - bizarre. group was really good. tank was really bad. pally who would not consecrate 'it takes too much mana', could not hold aggro, and ninja'd a haste cloak from me because 'it has stamina' XD
7) BRD - neutral - tank dropped group when Angerforge didn't drop her item
8) ST - bad
9) BRD - bad, tank pulled whole bar way over thaar, while we were smashing barrels. then had a hissy fit. also, another pally tank who wouldn't ever ever EVER consecrate. Not even when I was tanking all the adds (healer).
10) BRD - good - great tank, great group, some loldeaths in the bar, but really nice in general
11) Ramparts - good
12) Slave Pens - good
13) Blood Furnace - good (all three by same group - so could be skewed here)

Without Priming
1) DM - N/A incompetank, didn't have time to hit the macro, didn't stay past the first 2 pulls. Yes, that bad. 
2) ST - Good
3) BRD - bizarre. So many wipes. But people were good natured. Accidentally pulling Drakkisath cause tank didn't SEE him... is classic. XD
4) Ramparts - Good... but - idiot WotLK babies for DPS. Tank was the best I've had in 60 levels, and she was only 59. Extremely tough, amazing aggro (idiots pulled boss, no problems), and she was marking kill target as it came up. Professional. And they were making fun of her for it.
5) BF - Good
6) BF - Bad/bizarre - incredibly INCREDIBLY squishy DK tank. Like healing a mage. He needed shield AND renew at all times, and penance always on CD, with flash heal spamming as well. Couldn't hold aggro so good - I kept being silenced because he wasn't holding the attention of the silencing mobs. And to top it all off, he was wearing a skirt. A skirt. Blizzard doesn't put tanks in skirts, that I remember, unless it's druid leather... So glad I got gear upgrades and talents. -_-
7) UB - Neutral
8) AC - Good

...going to have to stop this for now. the BC section, and I'm told WotLK section is so faceroll that I never run out of mana no matter how stupid the group is being. Makes it very hard to judge.