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Eiko Shimojo, Junghuyn Park, Lauren Lebon, Stephen Schleim, Shinsuke Shimojo; Familiarity vs. novelty principles for preference. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):933. doi: 10.1167/7.9.933.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Understanding preference decision making is a challenging problem because the underlying process is partly implicit and dependent on context, including past experience. There is evidence for both familiarity and novelty as a critical factor for preference decision making in adults and infants. To resolve this seeming contradiction, we examined cumulative effects of exposure in different categories of object.
Methods: Faces, geometric figures, and natural scenes were tested separately in 3 blocks with the order counterbalanced across participants. Each block has 8 sets of trials, in each of which 26 pairs of within-category images were presented sequentially, and for each pair the participant judged relative preference in a 7-point scale. In each set of trials, one image was repeatedly presented at randomized location (L or R), paired with a new image each time. Thus except for the first trial, the pair/choice was always old vs. new.
Results: When probability of preference for the old stimulus was plotted against trial number, faces showed a steady increase, thus a general tendency towards familiarity preference. There is no tendency of novelty preference throughout the face set. On the other hand, natural scenes showed a quick decrease with saturation, a tendency of novelty preference in general. Geometric figures stayed neutral over trials, thus no strong bias either way. The overall pattern of results points to a possibility that the familiarity and the novelty principles are segregated across object categories. Different social/ecological significances may partly account for it.
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