"Autonomous, yet Connected": An esthetic principle explaining our appreciation of product designs

Blijlevens, J and Hekkert, P 2019, '"Autonomous, yet Connected": An esthetic principle explaining our appreciation of product designs', Psychology and Marketing, vol. 36, pp. 530-546.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title "Autonomous, yet Connected": An esthetic principle explaining our appreciation of product designs
Author(s) Blijlevens, J
Hekkert, P
Year 2019
Journal name Psychology and Marketing
Volume number 36
Start page 530
End page 546
Total pages 17
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Abstract Esthetic principles describe the levels or combination of design dimensions that are esthetically appreciated. Current principles focus on dimensions connected to product design itself (e.g., unity and variety) or dimensions that refer to a product design's relationship to other product designs (e.g., typicality and novelty). However, product design also has a social significance-they help consumers shape their identity-and this social dimension has hitherto been overlooked in research on esthetic appreciation. In this paper, we propose and investigate the social esthetic principle "Autonomous, yet Connected." In four studies, we show that a product's design leads to the highest esthetic appreciation if it strikes an optimal balance between nurturing the two seemingly opposite needs for connectedness and autonomy. Further, we show how conditions of safety and risk moderate the effects of the principle, which suggests our principle may have evolutionary grounding.
Subject Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development
Industrial Design
Design Innovation
Keyword(s) autonomy
connectedness
esthetic appreciation
product design
social needs
DOI - identifier 10.1002/mar.21195
Copyright notice © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ISSN 0742-6046
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