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Table 1 Summary of experimental studies

From: Designing persuasive health materials using processing fluency: a literature review

Reference Materials Fluency Main outcomes Main results
Song and Schwarz [7] Exercise instruction sheets, recipe materials Clear or unclear font Estimates of time and skill needed, task fluency, willingness to do the task Participants reported that the behavior would take more time, would feel less fluent, and would require more skill. Therefore, they were less willing to engage in it, when the instructions were printed in a dysfluent font
Reber et al. [10] Drawings Matching or non matching prime, back ground contrast, presentation duration Prettiness judgments Perceptual fluency increased liking and the experience of fluency was affectively positive
Begg et al. [11] Statements Known or unknown names of source, familiar or unfamiliar statements Truth judgments Truth judgments were influenced by source recollection and statement familiarity
McGlone and Tofighbakhsh [12] Aphorisms Rhymed or unrhymed Truth judgments Rhymed aphorisms were judged to be more accurate
Alter and Oppenheimer [13] Currency Familiar or unfamiliar Purchasing power judgments Familiar forms of currency were perceived to have greater purchasing power
Brown et al. [14] Faces Familiar or unfamiliar Credibility judgments Repeatedly encountered familiar faces were judged to be more credible
Song and Schwarz [15] Names of ostensible food additives and amusement-park rides Easy or difficult to pronounce Safety judgments Products were judged to be riskier when their names were difficult to pronounce
Dreisbach and Fischer [21] Number words Clear or unclear font, high or low background contrast Response times and error frequencies Low processing fluency was not only used for effort prediction but also for effort adjustments
Gmuer et al. [22] Labels of wine Clear or unclear font Judgments of taste Wine in a bottle with a fluent font label was preferred over the same wine in a bottle with a dysfluent label
Guenther [23] Syllabus Clear or unclear font Forecasted grade and course difficulty Participants forecasted higher grades and estimated the course as easier after reading the fluent syllabus
Reber and Schwarz [24] Statements High or low background contrast Truth judgments Highly visible statements were more often judged to be true
Mosteller [25] Product information Clear or unclear font, high or low background contrast, low or high information density Cognitive effort, positive affect, choice satisfaction Fluent information resulted in less cognitive effort perception, greater enjoyment and greater choice satisfaction
Oppenheimer [26] Essays Complex or simple words and sentences, clear or unclear font, high or low visibility Acceptance decisions of the applicant, perceived author intelligence Complexity and dysfluency led to negative evaluations
Lowrey [27] Product advertisement Simple or complex syntactic Recall, attitudes toward the brand, level of involvement Syntactic complexity affected recall and persuasiveness of advertising
Miller [28] Financial reports High or low readability Trading activity More readable financial disclosures were associated with greater trading activity
Rennekamp [29] Financial reports High or low readability Stock valuations, management competence and trustworthiness A fluent report generated stronger reactions to both good and bad news
Tan et al. [30] Financial reports High or low readability Judgments on the firm’s future performance High readability improved understanding of the firm’s performance
Laham et al. [31] Names of individuals Easy or difficult to pronounce Judgments of liking, positions in the firm hierarchy Those who had phonologically fluent names were liked more and occupied higher status positions in firms
Dohle and Siegrist [32] Names of medications Easy or difficult to pronounce Judgments of safety, effectiveness, side effects, and willingness to buy Phonologically fluent medications were judged to be safer and to have fewer side effects; greater willingness to buy
Manley et al. [33] Recruitment sheets for a medical study Easy or difficult to pronounce, clear or unclear font Judgments of attractiveness, complexity, expected risk and required effort Participants judged the study more complex when they read a dysfluent sheet
King and Janiszewski [35] Numbers, advertisements with numbers Numbers from common arithmetic problems or not Judgments of liking, product choices Participants preferred numbers from common arithmetic problems more than other numbers
Coulter and Roggeveen [36] Prices Numbers constitute an approximation sequence or not, Numbers are multiples of one another or not Purchase intentions and judgments of liking When the numbers constituted an approximation sequence or were multiples of one another, incidences of price promotion predilection increased
Schwarz et al. [37] Assertive or unassertive behaviors Easy or difficult to recall Self-rating of assertiveness Higher retrieval fluency of assertive behaviors led to higher self-rating of assertiveness
Rothman and Schwarz [38] Risk factors for heart disease Easy or difficult to recall Vulnerability judgments Higher retrieval fluency of risk-increasing factors led to higher vulnerability judgments
Chang [39] Product information Easy or difficult to recall Quality and monetary sacrifice judgments Higher retrieval fluency led to higher evaluation of product quality and to less focus on monetary sacrifice
Wånke et al. [40] Product information Easy or difficult to recall Brand evaluations Higher retrieval fluency led to higher brand evaluation
Wänke and Bless [41] Advertisements Easy or difficult to recall Product evaluations Higher retrieval fluency led to higher product evaluation
Petrova and Cialdini [42] Advertisements To image or not Brand attitudes and purchase intentions Service was preferred more when the participants vividly imagined it
Mandel et al. [43] Story Plausible or implausible Predicted future income Participants who read a plausible success story judged they themselves can success more in future
Gregory et al. [44] Service solicitation To image or to be explained Contract ratios Subjects who imagined the benefits of a service were more likely to subscribe to the service than subjects who were merely given information