Daily Archives: January 14, 2010

When in Doubt, Take the Peripheral Route

Please look at my cars.  Which one do you prefer?

Smile Tbirds

If you’re like the people in a study by Pankaj Aggarwal and Ann L. McGill you like the one on top and at a near moderate effect (d=.40 with a Windowpane of 40/60).  Now, of course, they didn’t make the comparison obvious like this.  They are serious researchers and employed the forces of science to an admirable degree which is why I’m showing you this in the first place.  It’s probably true.

The researchers use schema theory and anthropomorphism to explain the effect and I agree.  It’s also a great illustration of a Cue effect.

Smiles elicit positive attitudes in receivers.  Even smiling cars.

You’d think that people would be smarter than this.  But you’d be wrong.

Next time you think you’ve got the Solution to a World Problem, just remember this.  People like smiling cars just as they like smiling people.