University of Twente Student Theses


Human featueres and affectionate gestures : the influence of gender on product interactions and evaluations

Mundt, M. (2015) Human featueres and affectionate gestures : the influence of gender on product interactions and evaluations.

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Abstract:As people are physically interacting with a broad range of (technological) products on a daily basis, the question comes up in what way this interaction is affecting the consumer–product relationship and how people evaluate products after performing gestures with them. Therefore, on the basis of prior indications, the purpose of this study was to gain new insights in the effects of meaningful gestures with anthropomorphized objects. A particular focus was thereby laid on the topic of gender by researching whether men and women respond differently when performing affectionate gestures with products that hold either masculine or feminine human features. For this reason an online pre-test, validating stimuli, and an experiment with a 2 x 3 between-subject design were set up. 145 respondents took part in the study by performing an affectionate gesture with a product that contained either masculine or feminine human features, or no anthropomorphic features at all. After reporting their product evaluations on a questionnaire asking about the three constructs of purchase intention, product attitude and emotional attachment, a number of interesting findings came to the surface. Among other things, it was found that consumers indicated higher levels of product attitude and emotional attachment when human traits were displayed on the object. The experiment further revealed that especially women responded with high ratings of product attitude when feminine features were present. Additionally, particularly feminine features were proven to induce the highest ratings when measuring the concept of emotional attachment. All in all can be declared that this study was able to bring new knowledge and applications to the economic and scientific field by revealing gender differences in affectionate consumer-product interactions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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