Mere exposure effect: A consequence of direct and indirect fluency–preference links

Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):323-341 (2006)
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In three experiments, picture quality between test items was manipulated to examine whether subjects’ expectations about the fluency normally associated with these different stimuli might influence the effects of fluency on preference or familiarity-based recognition responses. The results showed that fluency due to pre-exposure influenced responses less when objects were presented with high picture quality, suggesting that attributions of fluency to preference and familiarity are adjusted according to expectations about the different test pictures. However, this expectations influence depended on subjects’ awareness of these different quality levels. Indeed, imperceptible differences seemed not to induce expectations about the test item fluency. In this context, fluency due to both picture quality and pre-exposure influenced direct responses. Conversely, obvious, and noticed, differences in test picture quality did no affect responses, suggesting that expectations moderated attributions of fluency only when fluency normally associated with these different stimuli was perceptible but difficult to assess



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