The Intelligence of Judging Products Based on Looks

Claudia Townsend, UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA
Dan Ariely, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA
Sanjay Sood, UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA
It is commonly believed that judging based on outside appearance is unintelligent – whether in regards to people or objects. From the familiar saying that one ought not to “judge a book by its cover” to research showing consumers do not believe a product’s looks play a significant role in their purchase decisions (Townsend Sood working paper), the strength of this inherent belief is evident. And yet, in three studies we find that respondents who perform better on intelligence-related tasks – the CRT and a vocabulary test – are more likely to select products that are more aesthetically pleasing than less intelligent respondents.
[ to cite ]:
Claudia Townsend, Dan Ariely, and Sanjay Sood (2010) ,"The Intelligence of Judging Products Based on Looks ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 111-114 .