Categorization reduces the effect of context on hedonic preference

Debra A. Zellner, Megan C. Mattingly, Scott Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


When moderately hedonically positive test stimuli are presented following better-liked context stimuli, preferences between the test stimuli are reduced. This reduction in preference, hedonic condensation, occurs in settings that also produce negative hedonic contrast-the phenomenon in which moderately hedonically positive test stimuli seem less positive when they follow better-liked context stimuli. Subjects who were instructed that the context and test stimuli were from different categories exhibited less hedonic condensation. Those categories have smaller hedonic ranges than does the full stimulus set. The increase in preference magnitude with reduction in size of the hedonic range is predicted by Parducci's (1995) range-frequency model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1232
Number of pages5
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2009


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