When the going gets tough the beautiful get going: aesthetic appeal facilitates task performance.

Reppa, I. and McDougall, S., 2015. When the going gets tough the beautiful get going: aesthetic appeal facilitates task performance. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

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DOI: 10.3758/s13423-014-0794-z

Abstract

The current studies examined the effect of aesthetic appeal on performance. According to one hypothesis, appeal would lead to overall decrements or enhancements in performance [e.g. Sonderegger & Sauer, (Applied Ergonomics, 41, 403-410, 2010)]. Alternatively, appeal might influence performance only in problem situations, such as when the task is difficult [e.g. Norman, (2004)]. The predictions of these hypotheses were examined in the context of an icon search-and-localisation task. Icons were used because they are well-defined stimuli and pervasive to modern everyday life. When search was made difficult using visually complex stimuli (Experiment 1), or abstract and unfamiliar stimuli (Experiment 2), icons that were appealing were found more quickly than their unappealing counterparts. These findings show that in a low-level visual processing task, with demand characteristics related to appeal eliminated, appeal can influence performance, especially under duress.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1069-9384
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:21838
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:13 Apr 2015 13:57
Last Modified:13 Apr 2015 13:57

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