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The Influence of Unity and Prototypicality on Aesthetic Responses to New Product Designs


  • Veryzer, Robert W, Jr
  • Hutchinson, J Wesley


Unity and prototypicality are important visual aspects of product design. These design principles were operationalized by modifying line drawings of existing products. The results of four experiments provide evidence that these two factors positively affect aesthetic response. These effects were strongest when visual properties were the sole basis of judgment and when design variations were easily compared. However, they persisted when aesthetic aspects were combined with other product information and when comparing design features was difficult. The effect of unity was found to be superadditive, suggesting that it has a relational, "all-or-none" character. Finally, regression analyses show that direct effects of the design modifications on aesthetic response exist in addition to possible indirect effects that are mediated by perceived typicality. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Veryzer, Robert W, Jr & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 1998. " The Influence of Unity and Prototypicality on Aesthetic Responses to New Product Designs," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 374-394, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:24:y:1998:i:4:p:374-94
    DOI: 10.1086/209516

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