Mere Exposure Effect


The mere exposure effect describes the phenomenon that simply encountering a stimulus repeatedly somehow makes one like it more. Perhaps the stimulus is a painting on the wall, a melody on a radio, or a face of a person you pass by every day—somehow all these stimuli tend to “grow on you.” The mere exposure effect is technically defined as an enhancement of attitude toward a novel stimulus as a result of repeated encounters with that stimulus. Interestingly, the mere exposure effect does not require any kind of reward for perceiving the stimulus. All that is required is that the stimulus is merely shown, however briefly or incidentally, to the individual. So, for example, briefly glimpsing a picture or passively listening to a melody is ...

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