Self-generated cognitive fluency as an alternative route to preference formation

Constable, Merryn, Bayliss, Andrew P., Tipper, Steven P. and Kritikos, Ada (2013) Self-generated cognitive fluency as an alternative route to preference formation. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (1). pp. 47-52. ISSN 1053-8100

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People tend to prefer fluently processed over harder to process information. In this study we examine two issues concerning fluency and preference. First, previous research has pre-selected fluent and non-fluent materials. We did not take this approach yet show that the fluency of individuals’ idiosyncratic on-line interactions with a given stimulus can influence preference formation. Second, while processing fluency influences preference, the opposite also may be true: preferred stimuli could be processed more fluently than non-preferred. Participants performed a visual search task either before or after indicating their preferred images from an array of either paintings by Kandinsky or decorated coffee mugs. Preferred stimuli were associated with fluent processing, reflected in facilitated search times. Critically, this was only the case for participants who gave their preferences after completing the visual search task, not for those stating preferences prior to the visual search task. Our results suggest that the spontaneous and idiosyncratic experience of processing fluency plays a role in forming preference judgments and conversely that our first impressions of preference do not drive response fluency.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: processing fluency, affective judgements, preference, visual search, metacognition
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 10:27
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 19:36

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