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Motion fluency effects on object preference is limited to learned context

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Publication details

JournalPLoS ONE
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Dec 2020
DatePublished (current) - 17 Dec 2020
Issue number12
Number of pages10
Original languageEnglish


Recently, Flavell et al. (2019) demonstrated that an object’s motion fluency (how smoothly and predictably it moves) influences liking of the object itself. Though the authors demonstrated learning of object-motion associations, participants only preferred fluently associated objects over disfluently associated objects when ratings followed a moving presentation but not a stationary presentation. In the presented experiment, we tested the possibility that this apparent failure of associative learning / evaluative conditioning was due to stimulus choice. To do so we replicate part of the original work but change the ‘naturally stationary’ household object stimuli with winged insects which move in a similar way to the original motions. Though these more ecologically valid stimuli should have facilitated object to motion associations, we again found that preference effects were only apparent following moving presentations. These results confirm the potential of motion fluency for ‘in the moment’ preference change, and they demonstrate a critical boundary condition that should be considered when attempting to generalise fluency effects across contexts such as in advertising or behavioural interventions.

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Flavell, McKean

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