Touched by vision and emotion: advancing the understanding of the endowment effect

Cathrine V. Jansson-Boyd, Dhruvi Patel


This research extends previous work by looking at the relationship between emotions, visually based tactile cues and different needs for tactile input in inducing the endowment effect. Increasingly products are sold online and thus it is important to establish how alternate cues can be used to substitute touch. In four conditions; vision only, combined vision and touch, and two visual conditions after either a positive or negative emotive inducement, participants evaluated two products on perceived value and feelings of ownership. One product had visually prominent tactile cues and the other did not. Participants also completed a need for touch scale to test if tactile need differences affect the outcome of perceived value and ownership. The findings show that visually based tactile properties are instrumental in guiding how stimuli are perceived and that this interacts with induced emotion. Furthermore, there is an interactive pattern for those with different types of tactile needs and whether the stimuli have visual based tactile properties. We discuss the results within a framework of understanding consumer perception.

Keywords: touch, emotion, endowment effect, consumer perception

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