The Impact of Mere Exposure Effect on Visual Stimuli

Topics: Psychology, Cognition, Exposure effect Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: August 13, 2012
The Impact of Mere Exposure Effect on Visual Stimuli Discussion This experiment tests whether visual exposure positively alters preference for the test visual stimuli and secondly, the impact of repetitive exposure on the preference. The results support both the hypotheses – that conscious (supraliminal) and unconscious (subliminal) exposure increase liking towards the test visual stimuli and secondly, increasing the number of exposures positively correlates with affinity for the stimuli. The two hypotheses were tested using visible and suppressed geometric visual patterns. The data attained showed decreasing preference for the stimuli in the following order of exposure – conscious, unconscious and no prior exposure. The findings indicate that the impact is least in the nonexposed, less but still present in the subconscious exposure and most in the conscious, leading to the deduction that affinity for a stimulus occurs even without conscious cognition, the mere exposure effect, which is explained in greater detail below. The first hypothesis is supported by Kunst-Wilson and Zajonc (1980), who tested the relationship between unconscious exposure and preference, and showed that positive reactions towards test stimuli were quicker for affect compared to cognitive, which led to the conclusion that liking is formed more affectively, and less cognitively. The second hypothesis is consistent with studies by Newell and Shanks (2007), which conclude that greater exposure induces recognition, which in turn, increases familiarity and fosters a higher preference towards accustomed shapes. This concept is known as the mereexposure effect (Zajonc, 1968). Results of this experiment can be attributed to the perceptual fluency model in which repeated and long exposure duration enhances overall fluency of processing visual stimuli and creates a preference effect (Newell & Shanks, 2007). Hence, both the hypotheses in this experiment are coherent with previous research,

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