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The Crossmodal Effect of Attention on Preferences: Facilitation versus Impairment

Hao Shen and Jaideep Sengupta
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 5 (February 2014), pp. 885-903
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/673261
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/673261
Page Count: 19
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The Crossmodal Effect of Attention on Preferences: Facilitation versus Impairment
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Abstract

This article builds a conceptualization for the crossmodal effect of attention on preferences, predicting when and why an irrelevant auditory signal will facilitate or impair preferences for visually processed target products located in the direction of the signal. Extending perspectives on crossmodal attention, this conceptualization posits that the functional tendency to pay visual attention toward an auditory signal will translate to a facilitation effect on preferences. However, given a goal of signal avoidance, crossmodal functionality dictates a lowering of visual attention toward the signal, impairing preferences for targets in that direction. Finally, a two-stage model of involuntary and voluntary attention is invoked to reconcile opposing predictions: an aversive noise is held to produce initial facilitation because of an involuntary appraisal mechanism, before a more deliberative attention-allocation process produces impairment. Results from five experiments support these predictions, contributing to the literature on crossmodal information processing and also that on preference formation.

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