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Encyclopedia > Mere exposure effect

The mere exposure effect is a psychological artifact well known to advertisers: people express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. This effect has been nicknamed the "familiarity breeds liking" effect. Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of behaviour, mind and thought. ... Generally speaking, advertising is the paid promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas by an identified sponsor. ...


Simply exposing experimental subjects to a picture or a piece of music briefly led those subjects to later rate it more positively than other, similar stimuli which they had merely not been shown earlier. In another experiment, students were shown a Chinese character on a tachistoscope faster than could be perceived consciously. Later, students rated these characters as better than those to which they had not been exposed. Interestingly, when asked, the students were able to cite specific and detailed reasons why they preferred the characters that they did (which must have been at least partially rationalization). 漢字 in Traditional Chinese and other languages. ... A tachistoscope is a device that displays (usually by projecting) an image for a specific amount of time. ... In psychology, rationalization is the process of constructing a logical justification for a decision that was originally arrived at through a different mental process. ...


This effect was first studied by Robert Zajonc. A related effect relevant to advertising and propaganda is the sleeper effect. Robert B. Zajonc (1923-present) is a psychologist who is best known for his decades of work on the mere exposure effect, the phenomenon that repeated exposure to a stimulus brings about an attitude change in relation to the stimulus. ... North Korean propaganda showing a soldier destroying the United States Capitol building. ... The sleeper effect identified by psychologist Carl Hovland refers to the hidden effect of a propaganda message even when it comes from a discredible source. ...


See also

Cognitive bias is distortion in the way we perceive reality (see also cognitive distortion). ... Memory biases may either enhance or inhibit the recall of memory, or they may alter the content of what we report remembering. ... The propinquity effect is the tendency for people to form friendships or romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often. ...

References

  • Zajonc, R. B. (1968) Attitudinal Effects of Mere Exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 2, 1-27.
  • Kunst-Wilson, W. R. & Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Affective discrimination of stimuli that cannot be recognized. Science, 207, 557-558.
  • Bornstein, R. F. (1989) Exposure and Affect: Overview and Meta-Analysis of Research, 1968-1987. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 2, 265-289.

External links

  • Changing minds: mere exposure theory
  • Mere exposure and attitude change

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mere exposure effect - definition of Mere exposure effect in Encyclopedia (213 words)
The mere exposure effect is a psychological artifact well known to advertisers: people express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
This effect was first studied by Robert Zajonc.
A related effect relevant to advertising and propaganda is the sleeper effect.
++Mere Exposure Effect(I)Attitude Change++ (568 words)
ajonc's primary concern is the effect of merely repeated exposure to attitude objects themselves.
In the monograph, Zajonc (1968) examines this hypothesis : "mere repeated exposure of the individual to a stimulus is a sufficient condition for the enhancement of his attitude toward it" (p.1).
Two experiments of Saegart, Swamp and Zajon(1973) produce the evidence that mere exposure increases liking under either pleasant or unpleasant circumstances, defending the theory from criticism like mere exposure is limited to pleasant situations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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