Abstract

Researchers often use interviews and questionnaires to measure consumer response to product designs. This practice continues despite the inherent limitations of these “explicit” self-report methods. “Implicit” reaction time tests have been developed in an attempt to overcome self-report biases and to obtain a more automatic measure of attitudes. These implicit methods are often applied to study addictive or phobic responses to stimuli such as drugs or spiders. They have also been used to measure consumers’ brand attitudes. To determine whether implicit testing methods can be used to provide a measure of consumer preferences for product designs, we conducted an implicit consumer study that measured reactions to product images using an affective stimulus-response compatibility task. Results suggest that implicit methods can be used to distinguish between consumer responses to different product images and to predict consumers’ product choices. With further development, implicit tests may become a helpful tool for investigating how consumers respond to variations in product design.

Keywords:

Product form; consumer testing; implicit methods; approach avoidance test; stimulus-response compatibility

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Measuring Product Design Preferences with an Affective Stimulus-Response Compatibility Task

Researchers often use interviews and questionnaires to measure consumer response to product designs. This practice continues despite the inherent limitations of these “explicit” self-report methods. “Implicit” reaction time tests have been developed in an attempt to overcome self-report biases and to obtain a more automatic measure of attitudes. These implicit methods are often applied to study addictive or phobic responses to stimuli such as drugs or spiders. They have also been used to measure consumers’ brand attitudes. To determine whether implicit testing methods can be used to provide a measure of consumer preferences for product designs, we conducted an implicit consumer study that measured reactions to product images using an affective stimulus-response compatibility task. Results suggest that implicit methods can be used to distinguish between consumer responses to different product images and to predict consumers’ product choices. With further development, implicit tests may become a helpful tool for investigating how consumers respond to variations in product design.

 

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