Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences




The context in which stimuli are presented can lead to hedonic judgments moving in two opposing directions. The movement of judgments toward the context is known as assimilation, and the movement of judgments away from the context is called contrast. Some factors that tend to lead to differences in these outcomes include whether the stimuli belong to the same category or not and if similarities or differences are made salient. The Gestalt principle of proximity may have the same effect as other grouping manipulations found in studies of hedonic context effects and cause people to perceive the context and target stimuli as being similar or belonging together. In this study, an average face was presented between two more attractive faces that either appeared directly next to the target (Close group) or with a large space between the context and target (Far group). Although not statistically significant, the target face was rated as less attractive in both the Close and Far groups than when presented alone. Though the findings were not statistically significant, this indicates a trend toward contrast.

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Psychology Commons