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Beware how you compare: comparison direction dictates stimulus-valence-modulated presentation-order effects in preference judgment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, E-ISSN 1943-393X, Vol. 75, no 5, 1001-1011 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Englund and Hellstrom (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 25: 82-94, 2012a) found a tendency to prefer the left (first-read) of two attractive alternatives but the right (second-read) of two unattractive alternatives-a valence-dependent word-order effect (WOE). They used stimulus pairs spaced horizontally, and preference was indicated by choosing one of several written statements (e. g., apple I like more than pear). The results were interpreted as being due to stimulus position, with the magnitude of the left stimulus having a greater impact on the comparison outcome than the magnitude of the right. Here we investigated the effects of the positioning of the stimuli versus the semantics of the response alternatives (i.e., comparison direction) on the relative impacts of the stimuli. Participants rated preferences for stimuli spaced horizontally with the response alternatives not dictating a comparison direction (Exp. 1), and stimuli spaced vertically using Englund and Hellstrom's (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 25: 82-94, 2012a) response alternatives, which dictate a comparison direction semantically (Exp. 2). The results showed that the valence-dependent WOE found by Englund and Hellstrom (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 25: 82-94, 2012a) was not due to the horizontal stimulus positioning per se, but to the induced comparison direction, with the effect probably being mediated by attention directed at the subject of the comparison. We concluded that a set comparison direction is required for the valence-dependent WOE to appear, and that using Hellstrom's sensation-weighting model to determine stimulus weights is a way to verify the comparison direction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 75, no 5, 1001-1011 p.
Keyword [en]
Preference judgment, Stimulus valence, Feature matching, Comparison direction, Sensation weighting, Word-order effect
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93189DOI: 10.3758/s13414-013-0453-xISI: 000322668000018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-93189DiVA: diva2:645819
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2013-09-05 Created: 2013-09-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Valence-Level Dependent Presentation-Order Effects in Preference Judgments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Valence-Level Dependent Presentation-Order Effects in Preference Judgments
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Reversal of the stimulus-presentation order often affects the outcome in paired stimulus comparison. Psychophysicists have found that the size and direction of the order effects depend on the compared stimuli’s magnitudes, but this magnitude dependence does not seem to have been recognized previously in cognitive research on preference judgment. The main objective of the present doctoral thesis was to investigate whether analogous valence-level dependent order effects exist for preference judgments of aesthetic preference of visual and of auditory stimuli (Study I) and of everyday objects and phenomena (e.g., Apple-Pear, Headache-Stomachache) denoted by labels and presented in a simple survey-questionnaire format (Studies II-III). An additional objective was to investigate if potential valence-level dependent order effects in Studies I-III could be accounted for using Hellström’s (1979, 2000) sensation weighting (SW) model. In Study I, there were valence-level dependent order effects favoring the second of two pleasant stimuli but the first of two unpleasant stimuli presented successively, but there were none for stimuli presented simultaneously. In Study II, there were valence-level dependent word-order effects (WOEs) favoring the left and first-read of two attractive stimuli but the right and last-read of two unattractive ones. Results were well accounted for using the SW model with a higher weight (i.e., greater impact on the comparison) for the second and the left stimulus in Studies I and II, respectively, and the valence level varying from low to high. Results of Study III indicate that the valence-level dependent WOEs in Study II were not due to the spatial positioning (left-right) of the stimuli but to the comparison being directed; the first read stimulus was compared to the second read, yielding a higher weight for the first read stimulus. The present results demonstrate robust order effects large enough to be of theoretical as well as practical relevance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2011. 73 p.
Keyword
Preference judgment, order effects, stimulus valence, sensation weighting, feature matching, comparison direction
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54202 (URN)978-91-7447-204-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-25, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2011-01-26 Created: 2011-01-26 Last updated: 2013-09-05Bibliographically approved

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