The Mere Exposure effect in the domain of haptics

Professorship/Faculty: General Psychology and Methodology  
Authors: Jakesch, Martina; Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Title of the Journal: PLoS one / Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher Information: Lawrence, Kan. : PLoS
Year of publication: 2012
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Pages / Size: e31215
Language(s): English
Published online 2012 February 8
Document Type: Article
Background: Zajonc showed that the attitude towards stimuli that one had been previously exposed to is more positive
than towards novel stimuli. This mere exposure effect (MEE) has been tested extensively using various visual stimuli. Research
on the MEE is sparse, however, for other sensory modalities.
Methodology/Principal Findings: We used objects of two material categories (stone and wood) and two complexity levels
(simple and complex) to test the influence of exposure frequency (F0 = novel stimuli, F2 = stimuli exposed twice,
F10 = stimuli exposed ten times) under two sensory modalities (haptics only and haptics & vision). Effects of exposure
frequency were found for high complex stimuli with significantly increasing liking from F0 to F2 and F10, but only for the
stone category. Analysis of ‘‘Need for Touch’’ data showed the MEE in participants with high need for touch, which suggests
different sensitivity or saturation levels of MEE.
Conclusions/Significance: This different sensitivity or saturation levels might also reflect the effects of expertise on the
haptic evaluation of objects. It seems that haptic and cross-modal MEEs are influenced by factors similar to those in the
visual domain indicating a common cognitive basis.
Release Date: 11. December 2012