The Meaning of Cue

Discover the power of cues in shaping behavior, triggering memories, and influencing decision-making in psychology, entertainment, and sports.


When we hear the word “cue,” we often think of a signal or prompt to do something. But the meaning of cue goes beyond just a simple prompt. In various contexts such as psychology, entertainment, and sports, cues play a crucial role in guiding behavior, triggering memories, and influencing decision-making.

Understanding Cue

In psychology, a cue is a stimuli that elicits a response or a behavior. It can be a word, image, smell, sound, or any other sensory input that triggers a reaction. For example, the smell of freshly baked cookies can cue a feeling of warmth and comfort, leading someone to crave a sweet treat.

In entertainment, cues are used to prompt actors, musicians, and performers to initiate their next action or line. For instance, in theater, a director may shout “cue” to signal an actor to enter the stage or deliver their line.

Types of Cues

  • Visual Cues: These cues are related to sight and include things like colors, shapes, gestures, and facial expressions.
  • Verbal Cues: These cues are based on language and include words, phrases, and vocal tones.
  • Environmental Cues: These cues come from the surrounding environment and can be anything from a familiar smell to a specific location.

Case Studies

Studies have shown that cues can have a powerful effect on behavior. For example, a study conducted by scientists at Duke University found that people who were given a specific cue to exercise were more likely to work out regularly compared to those who were not given any cue.

Another case study conducted by researchers at Harvard University demonstrated how subtle cues in a social setting, such as mirroring someone’s body language, can create a sense of rapport and make communication more effective.

Statistics on Cue

According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 80% of respondents reported that they use cues to help them remember important information or tasks. Additionally, studies have shown that people are more likely to follow through on a desired behavior when provided with a clear cue.


The meaning of cue goes beyond just a simple prompt – it is a powerful tool that can shape behavior, trigger memories, and influence decision-making. By understanding the different types of cues and their impact, we can harness their potential to improve various aspects of our lives.

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