Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffrey C. Sun


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of priming on college students' financial valuation of six artworks (i.e., three landscapes and three abstracts). This research study examined the independent variables of priming, gender, number of art courses completed, college class status, and college major on the dependent variable of college students' financial valuation of art. The sample for this study included 422 undergraduate students from a Midwestern university. Three research questions were examined. First, a t-test with an alpha of .05 was used to examine the difference in college students' financial valuation of art between college students who received priming and college students who did not receive priming. Priming was found to be a significant influence in that higher financial values were placed on all of the landscapes used in the study but only one of the abstracts. Second, a stepwise multiple linear regression was used to determine whether any of the other independent variables, besides priming, had a significant effect on the financial valuation of art. Gender and the number of art courses completed were significant effects for valuation of the landscapes. Third, the effect of the type of art was examined with a Pearson correlation coefficient to answer whether any of the artworks had a significant correlation. The highest positive correlation was within the landscapes and the most negative correlation was between the landscape and the abstract artworks. Priming may influence financial valuations about art when combined with types of art that are generally preferred, such as landscapes. Priming may have little effect on types of art that are not generally preferred, such as abstracts. Further, this study has implications for art dealers, art faculty, and art students and deeper structural issues regarding ethical concerns and preference for art. The findings of this study could possibly be used for art dealers to extend current sales of landscapes and for art faculty and students to spend more time in the classroom on abstract art.