Bilateral Affective Priming and Consumer Judgment

Jiewen Hong, Northwestern University
Angela Y. Lee, Northwestern University
Wen Li, Northwestern University
The valence hypothesis of emotional processing (Silberman and Weingartner, 1986) postulates that the left hemisphere is specialized for processing positive emotional stimuli and the right hemisphere is specialized for processing negative emotional stimuli. This paper extends this research by examining how emotional lateralization processing may impact judgment. Affective stimuli with positive or negative valence are presented subliminally in participants' right or left visual field while participants are asked to judge a target appearing in the center. Results from three studies show that participants' judgment of the target is more favorable when the affective prime is processed by the specialized hemisphere (i.e., negative primes in the left visual field or positive primes in the right visual field), regardless of the valence of the prime. These results differ from the classic affective priming effects whereby participants' judgment of the target assimilates toward the valence of the prime (i.e., a positive prime leads to more positive judgment, whereas a negative prime leads to more negative judgment).
[ to cite ]:
Jiewen Hong, Angela Y. Lee, and Wen Li (2008) ,"Bilateral Affective Priming and Consumer Judgment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 59-62.