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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Do you know what is the Mere-Exposure effect?

The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. The effect has been demonstrated with many kinds of things, including words, Chinese characters, paintings, pictures of faces, geometric figures, and sounds. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be.

The mere-exposure effect has been explained by a two-factor theory that posits that repeated exposure of a stimulus increases perceptual fluency which is the ease with which a stimulus can be processed. Perceptual fluency, in turn, increases positive affect. Studies showed that repeated exposure increases perceptual fluency, confirming the first part of the two-factor theory.
Later studies observed that perceptual fluency is affectively positive, confirming the second part of the fluency account of the mere-exposure effect.

A different study showed that higher levels of media exposure are associated with lower reputations for companies, even when the mere exposure is mostly positive. A subsequent review of the research concluded that exposure leads to ambivalence because it brings about a large number of associations, which tend to be both favorable and unfavorable.
Exposure is most likely to be helpful when a company or product is new and unfamiliar to consumers. An 'optimal' level of exposure to an advertisement may or may not exist. In a third study, experimenters primed consumers with affective motives. One group of thirsty consumers were primed with a happy face before being offered a beverage, while a second group was primed with an unpleasant face. The group primed with the happy face bought more beverages, and were also willing to pay more for the beverage than their unhappy counterparts. This study bolsters Zajonc's claim that choices are not in need of cognition. Buyers often choose what they 'like' instead of what they have substantially cognized.
In the advertising world, the mere-exposure effect suggests that consumers need not cognize advertisements: the simple repetition is enough to make a 'memory trace' in the consumer's mind and unconsciously affect their consuming behavior. One scholar explains this relationship as follows: "The approach tendencies created by mere exposure may be preattitudinal in the sense that they do not require the type of deliberate processing that is required to form brand attitude