Appearences can be deceiving: The portal of weight and embodied meaning portrayal in product design

Thomas Johannes Lucas van Rompay, Francien Verdenius, V.S. Okken, Adriaan T.H. Pruyn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

1 Downloads (Pure)


First impressions often arise from visual perceptions of product appearance, later to be followed by multisensory impressions involving touch and haptic sensations. These subsequent sensations may sometimes reinforce impressions generated by product apprearance, but lead to disappointment when expectations are not met. In this paper, the relationships between weight, product evaluation, and consumer personality is tested. Based on the embodied cognition framework, it is argued that a potential pitfall of downsizing consumer electronics consists in accompanied weight reductions, inspiring perceptions of products as cheap and flimsy. In order to substantiate this claim, in study 1, a vision-only study was conducted, clearly demonstrating that people prefer compact, slender product variants over more voluminous versions. In study 2, actual dummy phones were used and product weight was manipulated independently from product appearance. Results show that lightweight variants may reduce value perceptions and product appeal, but that this effect varies with consumer personality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Colors of Care
Subtitle of host publicationThe 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Bogota, Colombia, 6-10 October 2014
EditorsJuan Salamanca, Pieter Desmet, Andrés Burbano, Geke Ludden, Jorge Maya
Place of PublicationBogotá, Colombia
PublisherEdiciones Uniandes
ISBN (Print)978-958-774-070-7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2014
Event9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014: The Colors of Care - Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Duration: 6 Oct 201410 Oct 2014
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014
Internet address


  • METIS-307616
  • IR-93446


Dive into the research topics of 'Appearences can be deceiving: The portal of weight and embodied meaning portrayal in product design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this