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© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The present research examined the possibility that subtle face-like features (a smile- or a frown-like line) on a product can influence evaluations of and preferences for that product. The same within-participants experiment was conducted twice, once in the United Kingdom and once in Colombia: participants viewed four variants (concave [smile-like] line, convex [frown-like] line, straight line, line absent) of three different products (tea, shampoo, juice) and both evaluated the products on visual analogue scales and completed a forced choice decision task. The results revealed a general tendency across scales, products, and countries for the participants to rate products more positively and to choose products more frequently when they displayed a concave line relative to a convex line comparisons with the straight line and absent line conditions suggested that the effects were present for both concave and convex lines, but were stronger in the concave instance. These findings provide both a deeper theoretical understanding of the influence of subtle cues on evaluation and decision making, and concrete, practical information for both product designers and marketers. Copyright

Original publication




Journal article


Psychology and Marketing

Publication Date





771 - 781