Beware how you compare: comparison direction dictates stimulus-valence-modulated presentation-order effects in preference judgment
2013 (English)In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, Vol. 75, no 5, 1001-1011 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Preference judgment, Stimulus valence, Feature matching, Comparison direction, Sensation weighting, Word-order effect
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93189DOI: 10.3758/s13414-013-0453-xISI: 000322668000018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-93189DiVA: diva2:645819