Attributions of Fluency: Familiarity, Preference, and the Senses


Consumer judgement and decision making is guided by phenomenological experiences (Whittlesea, 1997), also called ‘non- emotional feelings’ (Clore, 1992) associated with cognitions. These feelings, such as certainty, surprise, and confusion, are considered non- emotional because they are feelings associated with a state of knowledge (Clore, 1992), as opposed to emotional feelings of happiness, anger, and sadness, which relate to the state of a person. These feelings, which may arise from incidental exposures to contextual information (e.g., exposure to promotional materials), can influence a person’s memory, and hence affect one’s feelings of familiarity, preference, and sensory evaluation. The role of memory in preference is not clear in most models of judgement and decision making (although see Weber & Johnson, 2006). We believe that the concept of fluency (in general) and more particularly Whittlesea’s (1997) Selective Construction and Preservation of Experiences (henceforth SCAPE) account may be useful as a framework for understanding consumer judgement and decision making.

Mantonakis, A., Bernstein, D.M., Loftus, E.F. (2011). Attributions of Fluency: Familiarity, Preference, and the Senses. In: Higham, P.A., Leboe, J.P. (eds) Constructions of Remembering and Metacognition. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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