Why when we read homophones, we are still primed by the other meaning of the word.


Bye-Now Effect

, explained.

What is the Bye-Now Effect?

The bye-now effect, a recent addition to the studies of human behavior, explains that we are primed by a word’s homophone after reading that word.


Homophones are words which sound the same but have distinctly different meanings (such as “buy” and “bye”, or “wait” and “weight”). The impact of the bye-now effect is that one can be subconsciously exposed to ideas without realizing it, if a writer chooses to deliberately implant words with meaningful homophones (although there is no evidence of this happening to date). So, if we read a note with the word “bye”, we will think of the word “buy” as well, and act accordingly.


In a restaurant in which customers were asked to name their own price, patrons received a note containing either the words “bye-bye” or “so long”. Those who received the words “bye-bye” spent $13.50 more than those who received “so long”.