The Architecture of Prototype Preferences: Typicality, Fluency, and Valence

Tobias Vogel , Moritz Ingendahl , Piotr Winkielman


A classic phenomenon known as prototype preference effect (PPE) or beauty-in-averageness effect is that prototypical exemplars of a neutral category are preferred over atypical exemplars. This PPE has been explained in terms of deviance avoidance, hedonic fluency, or preference for certainty and familiarity. However, typicality also facilitates greater activation of category-related information. Thus, prototypes rather than atypical exemplars should be more associated with the valence of the category, either positive or negative. Hence, we hypothesize that the evaluation of a prototype depends on the valence of its category. Results from three experiments crossing a standard PPE paradigm with an evaluative conditioning procedure support our hypothesis. We show that for positive categories, greater typicality increases liking. Critically, for negative categories, greater typicality decreases liking. This pattern of results challenges dominant explanations of prototype evaluation.
Author Tobias Vogel
Tobias Vogel,,
, Moritz Ingendahl
Moritz Ingendahl,,
, Piotr Winkielman (Wydział Psychologii w Warszawie)
Piotr Winkielman,,
- Wydział Psychologii w Warszawie
Journal seriesJournal of Experimental Psychology-General, [Journal of Experimental Psychology: General], ISSN 0096-3445, e-ISSN 1939-2222, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2021
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishbeauty-in-averageness, categorization, evaluative conditioning, fluency, valence
ASJC Classification2806 Developmental Neuroscience; 3200 General Psychology; 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Languageen angielski
The Architecture of Prototype Preferences.pdf 338.97 KB
Additional file
osw_Winkielman_The Architecture.pdf 309.6 KB
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.832; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 4.107 (2) - 2017=5.786 (5)
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