The Power of Aesthetic Design in Consumer Financial Decisions

Claudia Townsend, UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA
Suzanne Shu, University of California at Los Angeles, USA
We observe the influence of aesthetic design on consumer behavior involving financial products – an area where, presumably, design’s impact on decision-making has little rational role. In a series of three studies we find that, indeed, in hypothetical investment decisions the overall look of a document impacts stock valuation and behavior. Our results suggests that this occurs both through an increased sense of ownership as well as through self-affirmation and, moreover, that the effects from choosing high design spill over into subsequent financial decisions and lead to riskier investment behavior.
[ to cite ]:
Claudia Townsend and Suzanne Shu (2010) ,"The Power of Aesthetic Design in Consumer Financial Decisions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 102-106 .