- Mere exposure revisited: The influence of growth versus security cues on evaluations of novel and familiar stimuli
- Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
- Volume | Issue number
- 141 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Combining regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) and novelty categorization theory (Förster, Marguc, & Gillebaart, 2010), we predicted that novel stimuli would be more positively evaluated when focused on growth as compared with security and that familiar stimuli would be more negatively evaluated when focused on growth as compared with security. This would occur, at least in part, because of changes in category breadth. We tested effects of several variables linked to growth and security on evaluations of novel and familiar stimuli. Using a subliminal mere exposure paradigm, results showed novel stimuli were evaluated more positively in a promotion focus compared to a prevention focus (Experiments 1A-1C), with high power compared to low power (Experiment 2A), and with the color blue compared to red (Experiment 2B). For familiar stimuli, all effects were reversed. Additionally, as predicted by novelty categorization theory, novel stimuli were liked better after broad compared to narrow category priming, and familiar stimuli were liked better after narrow compared with broad category priming (Experiment 3). We suggest, therefore, that although familiarity glows warmly in security-related contexts, people prefer novelty when they are primarily focused on growth.
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