Does preference for abstract patterns relate to information processing and perceived duration

Palumbo, Letizia and Odgen, Ruth and Makin, Alexis James and Bertamini, Marco (2015) Does preference for abstract patterns relate to information processing and perceived duration. i-perception, 10. ISSN 2041-6695


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Repetitive prestimulation, in the form of click trains, is known to alter a wide range of cognitive and perceptual judgments. To date, no research has explored whether click trains also influence subjective preferences. This is plausible because preference is related to perceptual fluency and clicks may increase fluency, or, because preference is related to arousal and clicks may increase arousal. In Experiment 1, participants heard a click train, white noise, or silence through headphones and then saw an abstract symmetrical pattern on the screen for 0.5, 1, or 1.5 s. They rated the pattern on a 7-point scale. Click trains had no effect on preference ratings, although patterns that lasted longer were preferred. In Experiment 2, we again presented a click train, silence, or white noise but included both symmetrical and random patterns. Participants made both a duration and a preference judgment on every trial. Auditory click trains increased perceived duration, and symmetrical patterns were perceived as lasting longer than random patterns. Again there was no effect of auditory click trains on preference, and again patterns that were presented for longer were preferred. We conclude that click trains alter perceptual and cognitive processes, but not preferences. This helps clarify the nature of the click train effect and shows which predictions implicit in the existing literature are supported.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version of which is published in the Sage Publications journal i-Perception. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Keywords: Clicks arousal fluency timing symmetry preference
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Pauline Bray
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 09:34
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 15:56

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