Rolf Reber

Rolf Reber
University of Oslo · Department of Psychology

Professor

About

84
Publications
56,493
Reads
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6,802
Citations
Introduction
Rolf Reber currently works at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. Rolf does research in Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology and Educational Psychology. Current projects include Aha-experiences, belief formation , and interventions to increase interest at school.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
University of Oslo
Position
  • Professor
June 2012 - present
University of Bergen
Position
  • Two ways to increase interest in mathematics and science education
Description
  • Research project, aimed at increasing interest in mathematics and science at school, funded by the Utdanning2020 program of the Norwegian research Council.
March 2011 - present
Universität Mannheim
Description
  • Seminar "From Cognition to Social Cognition"
Education
September 1991 - May 1994
Universität Bern
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Information is more likely believed to be true when it feels easy rather than difficult to process. An ecological learning explanation for this fluency-truth effect implicitly or explicitly presumes that truth and fluency are positively associated. Specifically, true information may be easier to process than false information and individuals may re...
Article
Full-text available
In an experiment (n = 430), grounded in an integrative fluency account of the phenomenology of the Aha-experience, we tested the assumption that problem solving through insight is distinct from other strategies of problem-solving in that the affective response invoked by Aha-experiences is more influential than other solution strategies on motivati...
Article
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To better understand the spread of fake news in the Internet age, it is important to uncover the variables that influence the perceived truth of information. Although previous research identified several reliable predictors of truth judgments-such as source credibility, repeated information exposure, and presentation format-little is known about th...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter introduces a research strategy – which we call conditional objectivism – that offers researchers a heuristic for taking into account a plurality of value systems while pursuing professional scientific research. This strategy aims to make empirical research in the social sciences available to value-based decision-making. Conditional obj...
Book
This compact introduction is the ideal primer for anyone looking for an accessible overview of the basic principles of psychology, the fascinating science of mind and behavior. In everyday life we often ask why people act the way that they do, especially when we encounter or hear about puzzling behavior. Psychology: The Basics introduces everyday e...
Article
Perceptual fluency typically has a positive influence on aesthetic evaluations of beauty, but few studies have examined its influence on creativity evaluations. Creativity has two facets, originality and quality. If creativity judgments involve estimating product originality, such judgments may be associated with perceptual disfluency, while produc...
Article
A long-standing ideal of school education has been to connect instruction to a student’s life outside school in order to render subject matter interesting. New technologies enable instructors to personalize learning materials to increase situational interest. After distinguishing three main methods to personalize education (context personalization,...
Article
Full-text available
There is little research about making instruction at school meaningful. This is surprising given that ample research suggests that many students do not find school a meaningful place, as documented by decline in interest during middle school, the frequency of boredom at school and decline in search for meaning among high school students. This artic...
Chapter
A shared fluency theory of social cohesiveness is outlined that accounts for disparate phenomena under a unified framework. This starts from the well-known metacognitive feeling of processing fluency (henceforth fluency), which is the subjective ease with which a mental operation is performed. Fluency is extended to the social domain, and the notio...
Article
The Distancing-Embracing model does not have the conceptual resources to explain artistic misunderstandings and the emotional consequences of historical learning in the arts. Specifically, it suggests implausible predictions about emotional distancing caused by art schemata (e.g., misunderstandings of artistic intentions and contexts). These proble...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine gender differences in mathematics interest. In a sample of middle school students (N = 366), we examined mathematics interest as a trait (i.e., individual interest) and as a current state (i.e., situational interest) during a learning activity in mathematics. Assessment of perceived competence, perfor...
Article
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Human preferences can be shaped by evaluative conditioning (EC), which describes observed changes in liking of an initially neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus) due to repeated paired presentations with an inherently positive or negative stimulus (unconditioned stimulus). The experimental procedure of EC implies that participants are repeatedly...
Article
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Can affect be evoked by mere perception? Earlier work on processing fluency, which manipulated the dynamics of a running perceptual process, has shown that efficient processing can indeed trigger positive affect. The present work introduces a novel route by not manipulating the dynamics of an ongoing perceptual process, but by blocking or allowing...
Article
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Building on common assumptions in theories of interest and mathematics education, this experimental study examined the effect of context personalization based on individual preferences, group personalization, and example choice with preselected popular examples on middle school students' situational interest and performance in mathematics. Particip...
Article
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Processing fluency—the experienced ease with which a mental operation is performed—has attracted little attention in educational psychology, despite its relevance. The present article reviews and integrates empirical evidence on processing fluency that is relevant to school education. Fluency is important, for instance, in learning, self-assessment...
Article
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This article explores the possibility of testing hypotheses about art production in the past by collecting data in the present. We call this enterprise “experimental art history”. Why did medieval artists prefer to paint Christ with his face directed towards the beholder, while profane faces were noticeably more often painted in different degrees o...
Book
How can we develop the sensitivity necessary for playing music or making crafts? How can teachers make their lessons interesting? In what ways can consumers avoid undue influence? How do we acquire refined tastes, or come to believe what we want to believe? Addressing these issues and providing an account for tackling personal and societal problems...
Article
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Current theories assume that perception and affect are separate realms of the mind. In contrast, we argue that affect is a genuine online-component of perception instantaneously mirroring the success of different perceptual stages. Consequently, we predicted that the success (failure) of even very early and cognitively encapsulated basic visual pro...
Article
Existing findings on the truth effect could be explained by recollection of the statements presented in the exposure phase. In order to examine a pure fluency account of this effect, we tested a unique prediction that could not be derived from recollection of a statement. In one experiment, participants judged the truth of a statement that had the...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that people judge words as having bigger font size than non-words. This finding has been interpreted in terms of processing fluency, with higher fluency leading to judgments of bigger size. If so, symmetric numbers (e.g., 44) which can be processed more fluently are predicted to be judged as larger than asymmetric numbers (e.g.,...
Article
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Consumer perception of creativity in design products equivalent in function was measured using global single-item ratings of creativity. The measure was found to have a high level of agreement between raters and have discriminant validity to another aesthetic construct, that of beauty. In two experiments using designer lamps and wrist watches as st...
Chapter
Mindfulness is an overarching concept for guiding research in education and psychology. After providing examples of learned mindlessness, introducing the distinction between situational and dispositional mindfulness and summarizing some classical studies, the main body of the chapter discusses research that did not explicitly test mindfulness theor...
Article
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Research seeking a scientific foundation for the theory of art appreciation has raised controversies at the intersection of the social and cognitive sciences. Though equally relevant to a scientific inquiry into art appreciation, psychological and historical approaches to art developed independently and lack a common core of theoretical principles....
Article
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Critics of the target article objected to our account of art appreciators' sensitivity to art-historical contexts and functions, the relations among the modes of artistic appreciation, and the weaknesses of aesthetic science. To rebut these objections and justify our program, we argue that the current neglect of sensitivity to art-historical contex...
Article
This chapter reviews the processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure and introduces a new account of socially shared tastes based on this theory. Processing fluency - or simply fluency - is defined as the ease with which information flows through the cognitive system. This ease of processing is affectively positive: People prefer things they ca...
Article
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Early Chinese Confucian virtue ethics saw effortless harmony with the “Way” as essential for ethical life, but raised the problem of how one can, through effort, reach a state of effortless perfection. We decompose this paradox into three sub-paradoxes and review evidence from cognitive psychology relevant to each of them. First, how can one attain...
Article
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In retrospective memory, performance predictions have been found to enhance performance on subsequent memory tests. In prospective memory, the influence of metacognitive judgments on performance has not been investigated systematically. In the present study, 140 undergraduate students performed a complex short-term memory task that included a prosp...
Article
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In this paper, we discuss the implication of assigning students to write Wikipedia articles in a course on motivation and learning. As part of mandatory course assignments, students write an article about a concept that relates to the course topic. This was introduced in a course in information science and the feedback shows that students are highl...
Article
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This article combines findings from cognitive psychology on the role of processing fluency in truth judgments with epistemological theory on justification of belief. We first review evidence that repeated exposure to a statement increases the subjective ease with which that statement is processed. This increased processing fluency, in turn, increas...
Article
Full-text available
The literature on insight lists four main characteristics of this experience: (a) suddenness (the experience is surprising and immediate), ease (the solution is processed without difficulty), positive affect (insights are gratifying), and the feeling of being right (after an insight, problem solvers judge the solution as being true and have confide...
Article
Full-text available
We present a shared fluency theory of social cohesiveness, defined as mutual liking and shared liking among interacting individuals. The core of the theory consists of two inter-related recursive loops: one from behavioral coordination via interpersonal fluency to mutual liking and back to behavioral coordination; the other from shared exposure via...
Article
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When asked which of two digits is greater, participants respond more quickly if physical size corresponds to number magnitude, such as in 3 7, than when the two attributes contradict each other, such as in 3 7. This size congruence effect in comparative number judgments is a well-documented phenomenon. We extended existing findings by showing that...
Article
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Previous work has examined the relative valence (positivity or negativity) of ethnophaulisms (ethnic slurs) targeting European immigrants to the United States. However, this relied on contemporary judgments made by American researchers. The present study examined valence judgments made by citizens from the countries examined in previous work. Citiz...
Article
Full-text available
The literature on insight lists four main characteristics of this experience: (a) suddenness (the experience is surprising and immediate), ease (the solution is processed without difficulty), positive affect (insights are gratifying), and the feeling of being right (after an insight, problem solvers judge the solution as being true and have confide...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated example choice as a new method for the teaching of formal theoretical principles. Formal principles are presented with several examples from different topics, and students choose the one that interests them most. Example choice might be related to prior knowledge, interest, or perceived control. In an experimental study, we examined...
Article
A temporal contiguity hypothesis for the experience of veracity is tested which states that a solution candidate to a cognitive problem is more likely to be experienced as correct the faster it succeeds the problem. Experiment 1 varied the onset time of the appearance of proposed solutions to anagrams (50 ms vs. 150 ms) and found for both correct a...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: People perceive meaningful wholes and later separate out constituent parts (D. Navon, 1977). Yet there are cross-national differences in whether a focal target or integrated whole is first perceived. Rather than construe these differences as fixed, the proposed culture-as-situated-cognition model explains these differences as due to wh...
Article
Full-text available
Anecdotal evidence points to the use of beauty as an indication of truth in mathematical problem solving. In the two experiments of the present study, we examined the use of heuristics and tested the assumption that participants use symmetry as a cue for correctness in an arithmetic verification task. We manipulated the symmetry of sets of dot patt...
Article
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This article outlines the roles of art theory and empirical psychology in understanding a work of art in its experience. Art theory sets the criteria of what the experience should be, and psychologists examine whether the predicted experience matches the observed experience of the recipient. An important issue is the role of knowledge in artistic e...
Article
Zeki and co-workers recently proposed that perception can best be described as locally distributed, asynchronous processes that each create a kind of microconsciousness, which condense into an experienced percept. The present article is aimed at extending this theory to metacognitive feelings. We present evidence that perceptual fluency-the subject...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents design, development, and evaluation of POSbase in Psychology teaching. POSbase is a highly flexible system that encourages constructive and self-regulated learning. It also allows researchers and instructors to share their teaching materials and experience. POSbase was introduced to undergraduate and to masters students in psy...
Article
Regulatory focus has an impact on different judgments. Specifically, promotion focus is directed at achieving positive outcome whereas prevention focus is directed at preventing negative outcomes. Thus, people in promotion focus endorse positive outcome-framed messages whereas people in prevention focus endorse negative outcome-framed messages. In...
Article
Research into intuitive problem solving has shown that objective closeness of participants' hypotheses were closer to the accurate solution than their subjective ratings of closeness. After separating conceptually intuitive problem solving from the solutions of rational incremental tasks and of sudden insight tasks, we replicated this finding by us...
Article
Research has shown that performance predictions are biased by the impact of processing fluency. However, existing data are inconclusive with regard to comparative judgments of performance. In five experiments, participants in an easy condition gave more favorable comparative judgments than participants in a difficult condition. Participants judged...
Article
The potential impact of implicit learning on education has been repeatedly stressed, though little research has examined this connection directly. The current paper describes two experiments that, inspired by artificial grammar learning experiments, examine the utility of implicit learning as a method for teaching atomic bonding rules to 11–12 year...
Article
Comments on the article "Psychology and Phenomenology: A Clarification" by H. H. Kendler (see record 2005-05480-003 ). Kendler contrasted objective phenomena going on in the mind with phenomenological convictions. He concluded, on the basis of a thoughtful analysis, that scientific psychology cannot validate moral principles, which have to be agree...
Article
Contrasts predictions about the attractiveness of faces derived from evolutionary and fluency theorizing. Finds a fluency approach better supported.
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on an example from artificial grammar learning, I present the case that similarity processes can be computationally identical to rules processes, but that participants in an artificial grammar learning experiment may use different processing modes to classify stimuli. The number of properties and other representational differences between r...
Article
Motivational factors often predict how much effort students exert in the same activityagain (Kukla, 1972), and how probably they persist or drop out from school (Hardre &Reeve, 2003). Motivational factors are rarely in the focus of research on educationaltechnology. As many studies report no advantage in knowledge acquisition in compar-ison to trad...
Article
Full-text available
Does the word-superiority effect on letter discrimination result in a word-superiority effect on duration judgments? We examined this question in five experiments. In the first four experiments, we have demonstrated that (1) words shown for 32-80 msec were judged as presented longer than non-words shown for the same duration; (2) this word-superior...
Article
Perceptual fluency is the subjective experience of ease with which an incoming stimulus is processed. Although perceptual fluency is assessed by speed of processing, it remains unclear how objective speed is related to subjective experiences of fluency. We present evidence that speed at different stages of the perceptual process contributes to perc...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that aesthetic pleasure is a function of the perceiver's processing dynamics: The more fluently perceivers can process an object, the more positive their aesthetic response. We review variables known to influence aesthetic judgments, such as figural goodness, figure-ground contrast, stimulus repetition, symmetry, and prototypicality, and...
Conference Paper
This article presents design, development, and evaluation of POSbase in Psychology teaching. POSbase is a highly flexible system that encourages constructive and self-regulated learning. It also allows researchers and instructors to share their teaching materials and experience. POSbase was introduced to undergraduate and to masters students in psy...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Using an affective priming paradigm, we demonstrated that the affective tone of musical chords influences the evaluation of target words. In Experiment 1, participants heard either consonant chords with three tones or dissonant chords with four tones as primes and then saw a positive or a negative word as target. Even participants who were unaware...
Article
Full-text available
Experimenters assume that participants of an experimental group have learned an artificial grammar if they classify test items with significantly higher accuracy than does a control group without training. The validity of such a comparison, however, depends on an additivity assumption: Learning is superimposed on the action of non-specific variable...
Article
Full-text available
Dienes and Altmann argue that an untrained control group provides a reliable baseline to measure artificial grammar learning. In this reply, we first provide a fictitious example to demonstrate that this assessment is faulty. We then analyse why this assessment is wrong, and we reiterate the solution proposed in Reber and Perruchet (this issue) for...
Chapter
Full-text available
Review of research into the consequences of easy vs difficult processing; traces fluency effects to the hedonic quality of the processing experience.
Article
In this study, 434 children and adolescents completed the Control-, Agency-, and Means-ends beliefs Interview (CAMI). Moreover, we asked for current mood-state and achievement-related affect after success and failure at school. There was no gender difference in achievement-related affective expression in children (9 and 10 years old), but there was...
Article
Full-text available
We extend Mangan's account of fringe consciousness by discussing our work on processing experiences. Our research shows that variations in speed at different stages of perceptual processing can jointly contribute to subjective processing ease, supporting Mangan's notion that different mental processes condense into one subjective experience. We als...
Article
Full-text available
Why did Homo erectus begin to craft symmetric tools? A parsimonious account assumes that preference for symmetry is inherent in all visual systems. This preference can be explained by a broader preference for perceptual fluency. The perceptual fluency account does not assume that selection for mate health or the production of symbolic art is a prer...
Article
Full-text available
High figure-ground contrast usually results in more positive evaluations of visual stimuli. This may either reflect that high figure-ground contrast per se is a desirable attribute or that this attribute facilitates fluent processing. In the latter case, the influence of high figure-ground contrast should be most pronounced under short exposure tim...
Article
Perception without awareness denotes the fact that a stimulus exerts causal influence on mental processes or behavior without being phenomenally experienced. The main challenge has been to demonstrate that perception without awareness exists. The article reports several routes aimed at demonstrating perception without awareness, for example, presen...
Article
Statements of the form "Osorno is in Chile" were presented in colors that made them easy or difficult to read against a white background and participants judged the truth of the statement. Moderately visible statements were judged as true at chance level, whereas highly visible statements were judged as true significantly above chance level. We con...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the impact of subjective experiences on reports of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance. In Study 1, participants with moderate or extreme attitudes toward doctor-assisted suicide generated three (easy) or seven (hard) arguments that either supported or countered their opinion toward the issue prior to indicating the s...
Article
According to a two-step account of the mere-exposure effect, repeated exposure leads to the subjective feeling of perceptual fluency, which in turn influences liking. If so, perceptual fluency manipulated by means other than repetition should influence liking. In three experiments, effects of perceptual fluency on affective judgments were examined....
Article
In two studies, the control-beliefs of lower level compared to higher level students were examined. In both studies, the lower level students showed higher control-beliefs than higher level students, indicating that, beyond social reference norms, students also use individual reference norms. The effects of grades (studies 1 and 2) and of cognitive...
Article
In der traditionellen Religionswissenschaft wird zwischen rationalem und irrationalem religiösen Erleben unterschieden. In der experimentellen Kognitionspsychologie konnten Phänomene aufgezeigt werden, die Parallelen zu Phänomenen des religiösen Erlebens aufweisen: (1) Die Dissoziation zwischen bewußter, rationaler und unbewußter menschlicher Infor...
Article
Tested, in 2 experiments, the influence of levels of processing on memory for emotional and neutral words. Ss in Exp 1 were 48 secondary school students (aged 14–28 yrs). Exp 2, with 38 university students, replicated Exp 1. Emotional words were recalled better than neutral words when the level of processing was low. Recall for emotionally neutral...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This project investigates whether visual perception (e.g., the perception of optical illusions) is intrinsically pleasant, and which affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences this has.
Project
This project aims to develop methods for the integration of (i) historical and contextualist enquiries with (ii) psychological models and experimental methods.