Psychology Research News

A prominent research focal point of the psychology department is the discrepancy between conscious and non-conscious emotional responses. A recently published paper by Dr. Walla explores such a discrepancy related to evaluative conditioning of established "liked" and "disliked" brands.

Evaluative conditioning (EC) is what all advertisers try to do. Their goal is to generate positive associations to brands in order to make them more appealing. Surveys have been the traditional way to measure the impact of EC on brands. Our approach is to complete such self-report data with objective data resulting from various innovative recording methods (non-conscious measures).

The question is, which of these methods is most sensitive to EC and what do differences between those measurements look like? Most strikingly, it was found that non-conscious measurements of evaluative conditioning effects are more sensitive compared to self-report.

In more detail, non-conscious measures are more sensitive for disliked brands becoming liked brands than vice versa. In other words, a well-established liked brand is less likely to become disliked as a result of negative associations than a well-established disliked brand is to turn into a liked brand after positive EC.