Unconscious transfer of meaning to brands

Maria Galli, Gerald Gorn

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We examine semantic conditioning in a consumer context. We subliminally paired neutral ideographs with attributes. In experiment 1, the ideographs served as primes during a lexical decision task and slowed down response times to target words with the opposite semantic meaning. In experiment 2, the ideographs served as brand names of beverages, and attitudinal responses to them were less favorable when the associated attributes were incongruent with existing schemas. These results showed that semantic conditioning (1) can occur unconsciously, (2) can have significant and meaningful consequences for brand evaluation, and (3) influences subsequent attitudinal responses via conceptual disfluency processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Associative learning
  • Semantic conditioning
  • Subliminal
  • Unconscious processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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