• A leftward bias for the arrangement of consumer items that differ in attractiveness

      Rodway, Paul; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-24)
      People are frequently biased to use left side information more than right side information to inform their perceptual judgements. This research examined whether the leftward bias also applied to preferences for the arrangement of everyday consumer items. Pairs of consumer items were created where one item was more attractive than the other item. Using a two-alternative forced choice task, Experiment 1 found a robust preference for arrangements with the more attractive consumer item on the left side rather than the right side of a pair. Experiment 2 reversed the judgement decision, with participants asked to choose the arrangement they least preferred, and a bias for arrangements with the more attractive item on the right side emerged. Experiment 3 failed to find an effect of the ‘attractive left’ preference on participants’ purchasing intentions. The preference for attractive left arrangements has implications for the display of consumer products and for the aesthetic arrangement of objects in general. The findings are discussed in relation to hemispheric asymmetries in processing and the role of left to right scanning.
    • A leftward perceptual asymmetry when judging the attractiveness of visual patterns

      Rodway, Paul; Schepman, Astrid; Crossley, Becky; Lee, Jennifer; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-04-15)
      Perceptual judgements concerning the magnitude of a stimulus feature are typically influenced more by the left side of the stimulus than by the right side. This research examined whether the leftward bias also applies to judgements of the attractiveness of abstract visual patterns. Across four experiments participants chose between two versions of a stimulus which either had an attractive left side or an attractive right side. Experiments 1 and 2 presented artworks and experiments 3 and 4 presented wallpaper designs. In each experiment participants showed a significant bias to choose the stimulus with an attractive left side more than the stimulus with an attractive right side. The leftward bias emerged at age 10/11, was not caused by a systematic asymmetry in the perception of colourfulness or complexity, and was stronger when the difference in attractiveness between the left and right sides was larger. The results are relevant to the aesthetics of product and packaging design and show that leftward biases extend to the perceptual judgement of everyday items. Possible causes of the leftward bias for attractiveness judgements are discussed and it is suggested that the size of the bias may not be a measure of the degree of hemispheric specialisation.