Navigation Links
Study reveals effects of unconscious exposure to advertisements
Date:12/9/2008

Troy, N.Y. Fads have been a staple of American pop culture for decades, from spandex in the 1980s to skinny jeans today. But while going from fad to flop may seem like the result of fickle consumers, a new study suggests that this is exactly what should be expected for a highly efficient, rationally evolved animal.

The new research, led by cognitive scientist Mark Changizi of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, shows why direct exposure to repeated ads initially increases a consumer's preference for promoted products, and why the most effective advertisements are the ones consumers don't even realize they have seen.

It has long been known that repeated visual exposure to an object can affect an observer's preference for it, initially rapidly increasing preference, and then eventually lowering preference again. This can give way to short-lived fads. But while this may seem illogical, Changizi argues that it makes perfect cognitive sense.

"A rational animal ought to prefer something in proportion to the probable payoff of acting to obtain it," said Changizi, assistant professor of cognitive science at Rensselaer and lead author of the study, which appears in the online version of the journal Perception. "The frequency at which one is visually exposed to an object can provide evidence about this expected payoff, and our brains have evolved mechanisms that exploit this information, rationally modulating our preferences."

A small number of visual exposures to an object typically raises the probability of acquiring the object, which enhances preference, according to Changizi.

On the other hand, Changizi says overexposure to an object provides the brain with evidence that the object is overabundant, and is likely not valuable, thereby lowering the individual's preference for it.

"An individual's preference for an object based on a large number of visual exposures will almost always take the shape of an inverted 'U', with an initial rapid rise in preference based on the enhanced probability that an object can be obtained, followed by a plateau and a gradual decrease in preference as the evidence begins to suggest that the object is overly common and thus not valuable," Changizi said.

One of the most surprising aspects of visual exposure effects, according to Changizi, is that they are enhanced when visual exposure occurs without conscious recognition.

"This non-conscious mechanism exists because visual exposure information alone, without conscious judgment, has implications for the expected payoff of one's actions," Changizi said. "In many natural situations, observers potentially have both exposure schedule information and consciously accessible information about the object, in which case the predicted degree of preference modulations from visual exposure will be dampened, as the visual information is competing with the information from conscious recognition of the object and any subsequent judgment."

These non-conscious mechanisms for rationally modulating preference are the kind animals without much of a cognitive life can engage in, and Changizi speculates that they are much more ancient.

Advertising that takes the form of apparel branded with company's names, and products strategically placed in movies and television shows, often go unnoticed by consumers, capitalizing on our brain's mechanisms to modulate preference based on non-conscious exposure.

Changizi's research suggests that such advertising tactics work because they tap into our non-conscious mechanisms for optimal preferences, hijacking them for selling a company's products. The research could hold potential for marketers interested in optimizing their advertising for the human mind, Changizi says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amber Cleveland
clevea@rpi.edu
518-276-2146
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Rice University study finds possible clues to epilepsy, autism
2. Researchers study virus with unusual properties
3. Nanotechnology culture war possible, says Yale study
4. Gene therapy corrects sickle cell disease in laboratory study
5. USC researchers head global effort to study genetic risks that contribute to psychiatric diseases
6. Study on wildlife corridors shows how they work over time
7. Cell movements totally modular, Stanford study shows
8. New study indicates smallpox vaccination effective for decades
9. Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
10. UNC expands brain imaging study of infants at risk for autism
11. Shrimp trawling may boost mercury in red snapper, study suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study reveals effects of unconscious exposure to advertisements
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical ... Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade ... 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... highest percentage of growth in each of the following categories: ... companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), ... new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced ... (MoMA) in New York City . ... participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater ... Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced ... has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled ... COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays ...
Breaking Biology Technology: