Mere expoure effect (Zajonc)

August 18, 2012

As we saw in figure 5, repetition induces cognitive ease and a comforting feeling of familiarity. The famed psychologist ROBERT ZAJONC dedicated much of his career to the study of the link between the repetition of an arbitrary stimulus and the mild affection that people eventually have for it. Zajonc called it the mere exposure effect.

Zajonc offered an eloquent summary of his program of research:
‘The consequences of repeated exposures benefit the organism in its relations to the immediate animate and inanimate environment. They allow the organism to distinguish objects and habitats that are safe from those that Jot, and they are the most primitive basis of social attachments. Therefore, they form the basis for social organization and cohesion-the basic :ources of psychological and social stability.’

Kahneman 2012, p.66-7

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