Perceptual Fluency, Attitudes and Choice

Seh-Woong Chung, Singapore Management University
Andy Mitchell, University of Toronto
In a series of three experiments we examine the effect of perceptual fluency, attitudes and their accessibility on choice from a limited set of brands under high and low motivation and opportunity conditions. In all of the experiments, the participants make a choice between four hypothetical personal music players that vary in quality. The test is a strong one, in that one brand is superior to all the others and the manipulations of perceptual fluency and attitude accessibility are on one of the inferior brands. Consequently, in order to find effects, the participants must choose one of the inferior brands over the superior brand. The results indicate that perceptual fluency influences choice only under low motivation and opportunity conditions. This occurs even when the attitude toward the brand is negative. Attitude accessibility acts in a similar manner, however, choices need to be made in less than 1.1 seconds. Finally, attitude accessibility also affects brand choice under high motivation and opportunity conditions, but only when the attitude is positive. These results indicate that even when attitudes are formed toward the alternatives, they do not influence choice when it is based on metacognitive experiences.
[ to cite ]:
Seh-Woong Chung and Andy Mitchell (2007) ,"Perceptual Fluency, Attitudes and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 28-30.