Stimulus recognition may mediate exposure effects

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R. L. Moreland and R. B. Zajonc (see record 1979–23545–001) presented stimuli with differential numbers of exposures to Ss and obtained measures of affect (e.g., ratings of liking) and ratings of familiarity. Exposure frequency and ratings of familiarity were both significant predictors of affect in a multiple regression equation. Moreland and Zajonc concluded that there are 2 independent effects, and thus the exposure effect could not be explained by a stimulus recognition factor alone. However, the present article argues that these results can be explained by the theory that exposure frequency affects a single mediator that is imperfectly correlated with ratings of familiarity and affect. Thus, the null hypothesis that recognition mediates the exposure effect cannot be refuted by the partial correlation and regression analyses of Moreland and Zajonc. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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