The "name-Ease" effect and its dual impact on importance judgments

Aparna A. Labroo, Soraya Lambotte, Yan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that merely naming a research finding elicits feelings of ease (a "name-ease" effect). These feelings of ease can reduce or enhance the finding's perceived importance depending on whether people are making inferences about how understandable or how memorable the finding is. When people assess their understanding of a finding, feelings of ease reduce the finding's perceived importance. This is because people usually invest effort to understand important information but also mistakenly infer the reverse - namely, that information that requires effort to be understood is important. In contrast, when people assess the memorability of a finding, feelings of ease increase the finding's perceived importance. Because people usually recall important information easily, in this case they equate ease with importance. Psychological effects, economic principles, math theorems, jury cases, and decisions to fund medical research can all show these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1516-1522
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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