GENERALIZATION OF MERE EXPOSURE EFFECTS TO AVERAGED COMPOSITE FACES

Gillian Rhodes, J. Halberstadt, G. Brajkovich

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Abstract

Exposure increases positive affective responses to stimuli (the mere exposure effect). In nonsocial stimuli, this increased positive affect can generalize to a prototype or average of those stimuli. We investigated whether increased positive affect for previously seen faces generalizes to averaged composites of those faces. In two experiments, exposure to individual faces increased liking ratings of averaged composites (not seen previously) of those faces, in addition to the faces themselves. Attractiveness ratings of averaged composites also increased after exposure to component faces in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. These results raised the possibility that a generalized mere exposure affect contributes to the appeal of average faces, although the evidence was stronger for generalization of liking than attractiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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