ERIC Number: EJ1056735
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
The Effect of Processing Fluency on Impressions of Familiarity and Liking
Westerman, Deanne L.; Lanska, Meredith; Olds, Justin M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n2 p426-438 Mar 2015
Processing fluency has been shown to have wide-ranging effects on disparate evaluative judgments, including judgments of liking and familiarity. One account of such effects is the hedonic marking hypothesis (Winkielman, Schwarz, Fazendeiro, & Reber, 2003), which posits that fluency is directly linked to affective preferences via a positive emotional reaction that is triggered by fluent processing. The evidence supporting this account suggests that fluency may exert a stronger influence on affective judgments than other judgments. The current study compared the effect of fluency on judgments of familiarity and liking. Contrary to predictions, liking judgments were not more strongly affected by fluency than familiarity judgments. In fact, the balance of the results showed the opposite pattern. When the type of judgment was manipulated between subjects (Experiment 1) or in a blocked design (Experiment 2), fluency had comparable effects on impressions of liking and familiarity. But when the type of judgment was manipulated in a mixed design (Experiments 3 and 6), or when both familiarity and liking judgments were given for all items (Experiments 4 and 5), only familiarity judgments were affected by the fluency manipulation. The dominance of the familiarity interpretation was found when fluency was manipulated artificially, via priming, and when inherent variations in fluency across the stimuli were considered. These results suggest that, within a given context, participants adopt a single interpretation for fluency, and the sense of familiarity that arises from fluent processing overshadows the sense of positivity, thus questioning aspects of the hedonic marking hypothesis.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Familiarity, Preferences, Emotional Response, Comparative Analysis, Prediction, Priming, Theories, Affective Behavior, Perception, Undergraduate Students, Control Groups, Task Analysis, Factor Analysis, Pictorial Stimuli, Decision Making
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York