Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Terry L. Childers

Abstract

Consumers evaluate products in the market place using their senses and often form mental representations of product properties. These mental representations have been studied extensively. Imagery has been shown to interact with perception within many perceptual modalities including vision, auditory, olfactory, and motor. This dissertation draws on the vast visual imagery literature to examine imagery in the haptic, or touch, modality. Two studies were undertaken to examine the relationship between haptic imagery and haptic perception The first study is based on studies from cognitive psychology that have used similar methods for examining visual imagery and visual perception. In study 1, sighted and visually impaired participants were asked to evaluate objects haptically, to form a haptic image of that object during a short interval, and then to compare the haptic image to a second object. In Study 2, sighted and visually impaired participants listened to five radio advertisements containing imagery phrases from multiple modalities. After listening to the advertisements, participants were asked to recall the ad content and assess both the ad and the product while haptically evaluating the product in the ad. Though results were mixed and further exploration will be necessary, these studies offer broad implications for consumer use of haptic imagery in shopping environments. The implications for both sighted and blind consumers are discussed.

Included in

Marketing Commons

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