If it's difficult to pronounce, it must be risky: Fluency, familiarity, and risk perception

Hyunjin Song, Norbert Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

197 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low processing fluency fosters the impression that a stimulus is unfamiliar, which in turn results in perceptions of higher risk, independent of whether the risk is desirable or undesirable. In Studies 1 and 2, ostensible food additives were rated as more harmful when their names were difficult to pronounce than when their names were easy to pronounce; mediation analyses indicated that this effect was mediated by the perceived novelty of the substance. In Study 3, amusement-park rides were rated as more likely to make one sick (an undesirable risk) and also as more exciting and adventurous (a desirable risk) when their names were difficult to pronounce than when their names were easy to pronounce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Science
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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