Saturday, March 8, 2008

Consumer Perceptions of Volume -- Sight vs. Touch

Which Holds More: A Tall, Thin Glass Or A Short, Fat One?

ScienceDaily (2006-02-13) -- A fascinating new study from the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research explores how our senses interact to gauge volume, with important implications for perception of consumer products and consumption patterns. Specifically, the article argues that "elongation effect" -- the common tendency to think that a tall, thin glass holds more than a short, stout glass of equal volume -- is reversed when touch is used instead of sight to evaluate how much a container holds....

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This study contrasts the differences in perceived size, based on whether an item is looked at, or touched. For items that can't be touched before purchase, height seems a little more important in imparting a feeling of volume; for items that are handled, thickness conveys larger volume. What implications should this have on product and product display designs, if being perceived larger creates a positive sense of value?

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