More than words: On the importance of picture-text congruence in the online environment

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This paper addresses effects of picture–text congruence in the online environment on consumer response. Based on recent theorizing on processing fluency, it is argued that congruence among symbolic meanings connoted by pictorial and textual elements of web design increases processing fluency, in turn enhancing attitude formation. Since symbolic meaning integration requires elaborate processing, the influence of individual differences reflecting consumers' information processing is discussed and predictions are formulated. An experimental study was conducted requiring participants to evaluate an online hotel booking site in which symbolic meanings connoted by hotel appearance and hotel description either matched or mismatched. Results show that picture–text congruence positively affects product attitude via processing fluency but only so for participants high in need for cognition. These findings indicate that picture–text congruence in web design may impact consumer response, thereby highlighting the importance of careful consideration of the online environment.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of interactive marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Online Environment
  • Symbolic Meaning
  • Picture-Text Congruence
  • Web Design
  • Processing Fluency
  • METIS-269721
  • IR-80680

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