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J Exp Soc Psychol. 2011 Mar 1;47(2):506-508.

Smooth Trajectories Travel Farther into the Future: Perceptual Fluency Effects on Prediction of Trend Continuation.

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  • 1Yale University.


This research examines how processing fluency influences people's perceptions of whether a trend will continue into the future. Specifically, three studies hypothesized that people who read descriptions of increasing or decreasing trends in easy-to-read font would be more likely to predict that the trend would continue into the future, compared to people exposed to difficult-to-read font. Studies 1 and 2 establish this effect for an increasing trend, whereas Study 3 replicates the findings with a decreasing trend. Taken together, these results suggest processing fluency as a factor that affects assessment of future potential.

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