Objective Measures of Emotion Related to Brand Attitude: A New Way to Quantify Emotion-Related Aspects Relevant to Marketing

School of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 11/2011; 6(11):e26782. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026782
Source: PubMed


With this study we wanted to test the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant's eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG) (i) and their skin conductance (ii) and their heart rate (iii) were recorded. We found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. We conclude that all our physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. We suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Our findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted.

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    • "The eye - blink magnitudes of participants were recorded during these walk - throughs . Real estate price was strongly correlated with explicit pleasantness rat - ings , and the startle measures confi rmed affective differences between the most expensive and cheapest districts ( Geiser & Walla , 2011 ) . In a further study , a virtual environment viewed from the perspective of the driver of a Humvee was used to examine variations in eye - blink responses in both low - threat and high - threat zones , under immersive and non - immersive conditions , while driving through a virtual Iraqi city ( Parsons , Rizzo , Courtney , & Dawson , 2012 ) . "
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