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Motion fluency and object preference: Robust perceptual but fragile memory effects

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JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Sep 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Sep 2019
Issue number9
Volume45
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)1569-1582
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In 8 experiments, we investigated motion fluency effects on object preference. In each
experiment, distinct objects were repeatedly seen moving either fluently (with a smooth
and predictable motion) or disfluently (with sudden and unpredictable direction
changes) in a task where participants were required to respond to occasional brief
changes in object appearance. Results show that 1) fluent objects are preferred over
disfluent objects when ratings follow a moving presentation, 2) there is some evidence
that object-motion associations can be learnt with repeated exposures, 3) sufficiently
potent motions can yield preference for fluent objects after a single viewing, and 4) learnt
associations do not transfer to situations where ratings follow a stationary presentation,
even after deep levels of encoding. Episodic accounts of memory retrieval predict that
emotional states experienced at encoding might be retrieved along with the stimulus
properties. Though object-motion associations were repeatedly paired, there was no
evidence for emotional reinstatement when objects were seen stationary. This indicates
that the retrieval process is a critical limiting factor when considering visuomotor fluency
effects on behaviour. Such findings have real-world consequences. For example, a
product advertised with high perceptual fluency might be preferred at the time, but this
preference might not transfer to seeing the object on a shelf.

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© 2019, American Psychological Association. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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