Monochrome Forests and Colorful Trees: The Effect of Black-and-White versus Color Imagery on Construal Level
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Series/Report no.:2014 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 28th
Research suggests that whereas black-and-white (bw) imagery enhances perception of essential form, color imagery enhances perception of specific detail. Drawing from construal level theory, the present research extends this work by proposing and demonstrating that the focus on form (vs. detail) prompted by bw (vs. color) imagery promotes a tendency to construe or represent the depicted objects in an abstract, high-level (vs. concrete, low-level) manner. Three experiments examine the impact of bw versus color imagery on construal level, as assessed by action identification (Experiment1), sensitivity to essential vs. superficial features (Experiment 2), and behavior segmentation (Experiment 3). Two additional experiments explore the consequences of this basic effect on product feature evaluation (Experiment 4) and product choice (Experiment 5). We discuss how this work advances construal level theory and visual perception research, and explore practical implications for marketing.
Business: 1st Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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