Beauty beyond compare: Effects of context extremity and categorization on hedonic contrast

Elizabeth Cogan, Scott Parker, Debra Zellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three studies investigated the effects of extreme context stimuli and categorizationon hedonic contrast by having subjects judge the attractiveness of faces. Experiment 1 demonstrated hedonic contrast in both directions by using 2 sets of stimuli presented in different orders. Preceding moderately unattractive faces with moderately attractive facesmade the unattractive faces more unattractive. When the order of presentation was reversed, the moderately attractive faces became more attractive. Experiment 2 found that this hedonic contrast was eliminated when the moderately attractive faces were replaced with extremely attractive faces. Experiment 3 showed that even with those 2 sets of extremely different stimuli, hedonic contrast occurred if subjects were instructed to think of both sets of stimuli as belonging to the same category. These findings, using hedonic judgments, parallel Sarris's (1967, 1968) finding with weights that when 2 sets of stimuli are toodifferent in the dimension being judged, no contrast occurs. They also lend support to his explanation for this result. When the 2 sets of stimuli are too different they are not seen as belonging to the same category. They are therefore not compared, and contrast does not occur. The authors propose that these principles might apply to contrast in all settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2013

Fingerprint

Beauty
Pleasure
Extremities
Stimulus
Weights and Measures
Experiment

Keywords

  • Attractiveness
  • Categorization
  • Contrast
  • Extreme anchors
  • Hedonic contrast

Cite this

@article{609475da507b4f5daa661c4fec5f9af3,
title = "Beauty beyond compare: Effects of context extremity and categorization on hedonic contrast",
abstract = "Three studies investigated the effects of extreme context stimuli and categorizationon hedonic contrast by having subjects judge the attractiveness of faces. Experiment 1 demonstrated hedonic contrast in both directions by using 2 sets of stimuli presented in different orders. Preceding moderately unattractive faces with moderately attractive facesmade the unattractive faces more unattractive. When the order of presentation was reversed, the moderately attractive faces became more attractive. Experiment 2 found that this hedonic contrast was eliminated when the moderately attractive faces were replaced with extremely attractive faces. Experiment 3 showed that even with those 2 sets of extremely different stimuli, hedonic contrast occurred if subjects were instructed to think of both sets of stimuli as belonging to the same category. These findings, using hedonic judgments, parallel Sarris's (1967, 1968) finding with weights that when 2 sets of stimuli are toodifferent in the dimension being judged, no contrast occurs. They also lend support to his explanation for this result. When the 2 sets of stimuli are too different they are not seen as belonging to the same category. They are therefore not compared, and contrast does not occur. The authors propose that these principles might apply to contrast in all settings.",
keywords = "Attractiveness, Categorization, Contrast, Extreme anchors, Hedonic contrast",
author = "Elizabeth Cogan and Scott Parker and Debra Zellner",
year = "2013",
month = "8",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1037/a0031020",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "16--22",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance",
issn = "0096-1523",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "1",

}

Beauty beyond compare : Effects of context extremity and categorization on hedonic contrast. / Cogan, Elizabeth; Parker, Scott; Zellner, Debra.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 39, No. 1, 07.08.2013, p. 16-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Beauty beyond compare

T2 - Effects of context extremity and categorization on hedonic contrast

AU - Cogan, Elizabeth

AU - Parker, Scott

AU - Zellner, Debra

PY - 2013/8/7

Y1 - 2013/8/7

N2 - Three studies investigated the effects of extreme context stimuli and categorizationon hedonic contrast by having subjects judge the attractiveness of faces. Experiment 1 demonstrated hedonic contrast in both directions by using 2 sets of stimuli presented in different orders. Preceding moderately unattractive faces with moderately attractive facesmade the unattractive faces more unattractive. When the order of presentation was reversed, the moderately attractive faces became more attractive. Experiment 2 found that this hedonic contrast was eliminated when the moderately attractive faces were replaced with extremely attractive faces. Experiment 3 showed that even with those 2 sets of extremely different stimuli, hedonic contrast occurred if subjects were instructed to think of both sets of stimuli as belonging to the same category. These findings, using hedonic judgments, parallel Sarris's (1967, 1968) finding with weights that when 2 sets of stimuli are toodifferent in the dimension being judged, no contrast occurs. They also lend support to his explanation for this result. When the 2 sets of stimuli are too different they are not seen as belonging to the same category. They are therefore not compared, and contrast does not occur. The authors propose that these principles might apply to contrast in all settings.

AB - Three studies investigated the effects of extreme context stimuli and categorizationon hedonic contrast by having subjects judge the attractiveness of faces. Experiment 1 demonstrated hedonic contrast in both directions by using 2 sets of stimuli presented in different orders. Preceding moderately unattractive faces with moderately attractive facesmade the unattractive faces more unattractive. When the order of presentation was reversed, the moderately attractive faces became more attractive. Experiment 2 found that this hedonic contrast was eliminated when the moderately attractive faces were replaced with extremely attractive faces. Experiment 3 showed that even with those 2 sets of extremely different stimuli, hedonic contrast occurred if subjects were instructed to think of both sets of stimuli as belonging to the same category. These findings, using hedonic judgments, parallel Sarris's (1967, 1968) finding with weights that when 2 sets of stimuli are toodifferent in the dimension being judged, no contrast occurs. They also lend support to his explanation for this result. When the 2 sets of stimuli are too different they are not seen as belonging to the same category. They are therefore not compared, and contrast does not occur. The authors propose that these principles might apply to contrast in all settings.

KW - Attractiveness

KW - Categorization

KW - Contrast

KW - Extreme anchors

KW - Hedonic contrast

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84880468209&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0031020

DO - 10.1037/a0031020

M3 - Article

C2 - 23244047

AN - SCOPUS:84880468209

VL - 39

SP - 16

EP - 22

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

SN - 0096-1523

IS - 1

ER -