On Aesthetic Pleasure: The Uncertainty-Reducing Role of Processing Fluency
4 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 4, 2017
Previous research has shown that processing fluency leads to higher aesthetic pleasure. We propose that the effect of fluency on aesthetic pleasure relates to fluency’s role in reducing uncertainty. In other words, uncertainty is a drive state that produces pleasure only once it is resolved. Fluency contributes to faster resolution of uncertainty and creates aesthetic pleasure. Consistent with this proposition, we show in three studies that the effect of fluency on aesthetic pleasure attenuates when people are certain (vs. uncertain).
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