Robert Zajonc – a psychologist, presented some subjects with a variety of photographs. The photos were of different white men taken from a yearbook. Some photographs were shown only once, while others were shown up to 25 times.
Each subject was then asked to rate how much they thought they’d like the person (in the photograph) if they happened to actually meet them, in-person.
Seeing a photograph 10 times led to about 30% increase in perceptions of likeability – compared to a face that was shown only once!
This is called the ‘mere exposure effect‘ (MEE) and in the decades since Zajonc’s original study, this finding has been replicated across more than two hundred studies.
Merely being exposed to people, objects, and ideas leads us to have more favourable evaluations of them.
I learnt this while reading Social Chemistry by Marissa King. A little bit of additional Wikipedia-reading explains why MEE happens.
Hope you learnt something new. This post is part of my LHE series.