Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Previous studies have shown that when subjects view hedonically positive stimuli followed by stimuli of lesser hedonic value their preference for the stimuli of lesser hedonic value decreases. This is hedonic condensation. In addition, its opposite, an increase in preference judgment, occurs when subjects view a less hedonically positive stimuli followed by hedonically positive stimuli. Experiment 1 showed that condensation and its opposite, an increase in preference judgments, were produced using unattractive and moderately attractive faces. Experiment 2 showed that when instructed to view the stimuli as coming from two different groups the participants rating the attractive faces did not show an increase in preference judgments, however hedonic condensation was still present. Experiment 3 showed that increasing the difference on the hedonic scale between the attractive and unattractive faces eliminated the effect of context on subjects’ preference judgments. Experiment 4 showed that forcing subjects to categorize the extremely attractive and unattractive faces into the same group introduced a context effect on participants' ratings for the pairs of attractive faces, with a greater preference shown; however condensation was not found for the unattractive faces.
Forsythe, Matthew, "Preference Magnitude Affected by Context, Range, and Categorization" (2012). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 838.