Perceptual Boundaries: Helping You See Better But Making You Think Less

Yan Zhang , University of Chicago, USA
Aparna A. Labroo, University of Chicago, USA
Four studies demonstrated that adding a perceptual frame (or boundary) around a stimulus improves visual processing of the object but interferes with verbal processing of the object. Building on research suggesting that visual processing relies on narrowing of attention whereas verbal processing relies on elaboration, we proposed that the salience of a perceptual boundary can narrow attention. As a consequence, narrowed attention results in increased perceptual fluency towards a visual stimulus, making it appear more eye-catching and attractive and improving its evaluation. However, when the target object is verbal in nature, then a salient perceptual boundary can constrain elaboration and interfere with ease of understanding, making the target appear less fluent conceptually.
[ to cite ]:
Yan Zhang and Aparna A. Labroo (2009) ,"Perceptual Boundaries: Helping You See Better But Making You Think Less", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 79-81.