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Mere Exposure Effect: Definition, Examples and Effects

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

The mere exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are exposed to a stimulus multiple times. It is a form of cognitive bias that can influence our preferences and decisions. The mere exposure effect is based on the idea that people tend to prefer things that are familiar to them.

Examples: The mere exposure effect can be seen in many different areas of life. For example, when faced with a choice between a brand of food that you have seen many time through advertising and a brand of food that you've never heard of before, the mere exposure effect disposes you to prefer the brand you've seen before. Similarly, you may prefer certain types of music because you have heard them many times.

Effects: The mere exposure effect can have both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, it can help people to become more familiar with something and increase their enjoyment of it. On the negative side, it can lead to people making decisions based on familiarity rather than on what is best for them. It can also lead to people becoming too comfortable with something and not exploring other options.

Overall, the mere exposure effect is an important psychological phenomenon that can influence our preferences and decisions. It is important to be aware of this effect and to consider other factors when making decisions.

Do you want to expand your knowledge on this topic? Read our full in-depth article on cognitive biases.

Do you have extra 15 minutes today? Take our fun and interactive quiz to learn which of 16 reasoning styles you use, your overall level of rationality, and what you can do now to improve your rationality skills.


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