Scenario-based touching: on the influence of top-down processes on tactile and visual appreciation

Authors/others:Jakesch, Martina; Zachhuber, Martina; Leder, Helmut; Spingler, Mark (Ford Motor Company); Carbon, Claus-Christian (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg)
Abstract:The aim was to propose a testing procedure that allows measuring ecological valid judgments as a tool for selecting e.g. surface materials in the design process. Precise measures are essential for evaluation processes for example in design research and applied studies. Contextual effects in form of top-down processes often lead to biases in measures such as quality or liking judgments. We examined contextual effects of such factors by varying specific instructions, which were based on everyday life scenarios. We also investigated the stability and ecological validity of evaluations with the focus on a multisensory approach involving vision plus touch, touch-only and vision-only conditions. Participants evaluated the materials, for preference in experiment 1, and for perceived material properties (thermal conductivity, hardness and roughness) in experiment 2—either with or without specific instructions. Results showed higher consistency in the vision plus touch condition than in the unimodal conditions. Moreover, preferences and perceived material properties strongly varied according to the presence and the content of instruction (scenarios). These results demonstrate the strong impact of top-down processes on tactile as well as visual judgments.
Number of pages:10
Date of publication:2011
Journal title:Research in Engineering Design: theory, applications, and concurrent engineering
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Publication Type:Article