Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

The nature of processing fluency: Amplification versus hedonic marking

Eckmann, L.
Volume: 90
Pages: 103997 -
Month: September
ISSN-Print: 0022-1031
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2020
Keywords: Processing fluency; Hedonic fluency; Fluency amplification

When processing an object, the human cognitive system instantaneously produces a latent experience of processing fluency that has been shown to influence a wide variety of judgments (e.g., liking, beauty, truth, safety, trustworthiness, etc.). The majority of findings revolve around the idea that fluent processing is hedonically positive and shifts evaluative judgments in the positive direction (the “Hedonic Fluency Model”). However, other findings indicate that fluency can intensify existing judgmental tendencies in the positive and negative directions (the “Fluency Amplification Model”). In two exploratory studies and three confirmatory studies submitted as a registered report, the present paper examines whether fluency hedonically upshifts evaluative judgments or whether it bidirectionally amplifies them. All five studies indicate that both mechanisms seem to be at work simultaneously. These findings challenge the previously assumed unidimensional nature of fluency and call for an advancement of the current theories of processing fluency.