Perceptual fluency does not necessarily increase aesthetic appreciation: Evidence against the Hedonic Fluency Model

Professorship/Faculty: General Psychology and Methodology  
Authors: Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Editors: Gregory, Richard; Troscianko, Tom
Title of the compilation: European Conference on Visual Perception, 35, 2012, Alghero (Italy)
Corporate Body: European Conference on Visual Perception, 35, 2012, Alghero (Italy)
Publisher Information: London : Pion Ltd.
Year of publication: 2012
Pages / Size: 1 pdf-Datei (1 S.)
Language(s): English
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
Document Type: Conferenceobject
Aesthetic pleasure is a function of the perceiver’s processing dynamics. According to the Hedonic Fluency Model (Winkielman et al, 2003, in The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective processes in cognition and emotion J Musch and K C Klauer, Mahwah, Erlbaum), the perceptual fluency of a stimulus has an influence on affective judgments about this stimulus. This so-called Fluency Affect Link predicts higher positive judgments with increasing perceptual fluency. In the present experiment, stimuli of different levels of complexity and of positive as well as negative valence from the IAPS database were tested for their aesthetic appreciation. Perceptual fluency was manipulated through perceptual priming.
Contrary to the predictions of the Hedonic Fluency Model, participants’ (n = 20) aesthetic appreciation only benefited from fluency of stimuli with positive, but not with negative valence. Actually, stimuli with negative valence were judged more negative in the highly fluent than in the low fluent condition.
These findings are compatible with the Fluency Attribution Hypothesis (Jacoby et al, 1989, in Varieties of memory and consciousness: Essays in honour of Endel Tulving, H L Roediger and F I M Craik, Hillsdale, Erlbaum), asking for an adaptation of current research hypotheses often derived from the Hedonic Fluency Model.
Keywords: Fluency, Aesthetics, Liking, Attractiveness
Release Date: 20. June 2013

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