The Familiarity Principle: So You Want Your Kid to Attend College

Stephanie Bachman on Nov 3, 2017 4:58:36 PM

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When I was in grade school, my family's restaurant of choice was Perkins. Each month, my family would hoard into the diner-like eatery and order a tableful of pancakes sopping in butter, cheesy omelets, and sugar-loaded pies regardless of the time of day. Specifically, I would order Teddy Bear Pancakes, which came out of the kitchen doused in whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and warm chocolate syrup.

Now that I'm in college, my restaurant of choice still is Perkins. While a great deal of this I owe to my love of breakfast foods over nearly anything else, I also would owe this to the fact that, as a young girl, I had good experiences at Perkins.

Concepts like these are actually grounded in psychology. Studies have been conducted throughout the years, and the psychology journal Motivation and Emotion suggests that, “the experience of familiarity involves the experience of positive affect.” This concept is called the mere-exposure effect, or the familiarity principle. The familiarity principle suggests that the more you are exposed to something, the more you begin to like it. Hence why I love Perkin's pancakes so much.

But this concept isn't just exclusive to being a deciding factor of restaurants. The familiarity principle can be applied to the early exposure to children and literature. Many of us know that reading to a young child is highly encouraged and beneficial for their literacy and comprehension skills. And since exposure to books and words is helpful for children, then early exposure to other areas could also prove to be helpful as well.

College programs directed towards children such as family-friendly events or classes could inspire them to attend college in the future, or attend a specific college if they had positive experiences with it in their youth.

And if this is the sort of thing that interests you—the idea of your child attending college or attending a specific college like Idaho State University—then why not begin with an upcoming event this winter?

Idaho State University has partnered with the Leavitt Center to bring the Polar Express Ball to children and families in the area. This event includes a hot chocolate bar, gourmet cookies, dancing, and a visit from Santa Claus—and you can attend all in the comfort of your warm pajamas. Get your child involved with the community and ISU to jumpstart their interest in college! Register today by clicking here

If you have any questions about the event, visit us or call (208)-282-3372.


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