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Title: Using techniques of perceptual-motor fluency to influence preference
Author: McKean, Bryony
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 6791
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2020
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Perceptual fluency and response inhibition are established techniques to unobtrusively manipulate preference: objects are devalued following association with disfluency or inhibition. These approaches are extensively studied individually, however, the impact of combining the two techniques in a single intervention is unknown. This thesis investigates manipulations of fluency and inhibition to bias preference. Experiments 1-5 focus on perceptual fluency, examining a new looming motion for its efficacy in eliciting positive and negative affect, and whether this is stored to and retrieved from memory. Experiments 1, 3 and 5 show a robust fluency effect when participants rated the moving stimuli, however, the associative learning of the object-motion pairs is limited and context dependent. Experiments 2, 3, 4 and 5 found that preference judgments of objects rated while static were unaffected by the prior motion of the object, showing a fragile memory effect. Experiments 6-9 test short game-like tasks to examine the preference and memory effects of perceptual fluency and inhibition individually, then the cumulative effects of combining the perceptual fluency, motor-action fluency and inhibition techniques. Experiments 6 confirms that perceptual fluency and inhibition techniques influence immediate preference judgements and Experiment 7 shows combining perception and motor-action fluency has an additive effect on preference bias. Somewhat surprisingly, Experiment 8 shows that combining three techniques together does not lead to greater effects. Finally, Experiment 9 replicated Experiment 8 but with changes to imitate real-world applications: measuring preference after 20 minutes of unrelated tasks, modifying the retrieval context, and generalization from computer images of objects to real-world versions of those objects. Here the individual effects of perceptual-fluency and inhibition were no longer detected, whereas combining these techniques resulted in preference change. These results demonstrate the potential of short video games as a means of influencing behaviour, such as food choices to improve health and wellbeing.
Supervisor: Tipper, Steven ; Over, Harriet Sponsor: Leverhulme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available