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

erted '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.


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

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