University of Twente Student Theses


Impression Formation Through Adding "Weight and Structure" to Arguments

Gerst, Corinna (2013) Impression Formation Through Adding "Weight and Structure" to Arguments.

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Abstract:Years of research have shown the importance of unconscious information processing in impression formation. Especially in the context of consumer psychology, the stimulation of visual, olfactory, and auditory senses has been demonstrated to be an effective mean for regulating consumer's behaviour on an unconscious level. However, the role of touch (tactile sense) with its fundamental dimensions weight and texture has been studied rarely. In this paper it is argued, that tactile manipulation is a powerful mean to influence consumer's impressions. This idea was tested by comparing the effects of different paper versions within visual communication material. In a first experiment, a 2x2 between-subjects-design was used to compare the effects of Weight (light versus heavy) and Texture (glossy versus rough) within an image brochure about a supermarket. Subjects in the heavy-paper condition and the rough-paper condition reported higher scores on brochure quality than subjects within the light-paper or glossy-paper condition. Texture also affected perceptions of brochure attractiveness, brand credibility & trust, and behavioural intention to go to the advertised supermarket. In a second study, it was focused on the effects of Weight within a product brochure. Contrary to the effects found in the image brochure, Weight even affected brand evaluation. Furthermore, additional variables were included, whereby Weight positively affected material evaluation, authenticity perceptions, and the preference for the brand and product advertised. Additionally, it was focused on congruence effects created by cross-pairing paper material (light versus heavy) with content (Light chips versus Classical chips). It was assumed that information congruent with each other is processed more fluently and accordingly, evaluated more positively. However, no such effects could be found. Findings suggest that tactile information can function as a subsequent cue for impression formation. Thereby, these effects may differ between image and product related material, which should be the focus of future research. The lack of congruence effects indicates that visual communication design could incorporate Weight regardless the product's attributes, since even the Light chips brochure benefited from heavy paper material.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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