Psychology

The Benefits of Cognitive Disfluency

Adam L. Alter

November 14, 2013

Summary

People prefer fluently processed stimuli but sometimes disfluency produces superior outcomes.

Abstract

People process new information along a continuum, from very fluently (with great ease) to very disfluently (with great difficulty). Researchers have long recognized that people prefer fluently processed stimuli across a broad range of dimensions. A more recent stream of research suggests that disfluency sometimes produces superior outcomes. In this review, I suggest that disfluency prompts people to process information more carefully, deeply, and abstractly, and mitigates the social problems of overdisclosure and reflexive xenophobia. I conclude by raising several remaining questions that warrant empirical attention.

Journal

Current Directions in Psychological Science

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0963721413498894

Cite This Paper

Alter, A. L. (2013). The Benefits of Cognitive Disfluency. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(6), 437–442. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721413498894

Bibliography

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