The Effects of Holistic Thinking Style on Attitude Toward Innovative Design: Role of Value Presentation: An Abstract
Innovative product design generates higher consumer interests than generic design, which increases a chance to make a better financial performance in the marketplace by adding value and improving consumers’ perception on a product (Bloch, 2011; Rubera, 2015). Thus, it is critical to understand what influences the way that consumers evaluate innovativeness of product design. As one of the important factors in design evaluation, this study investigates how a personal thinking style, either holistic or analytic, can influence consumers’ evaluation of innovative product design as well as their attitudes toward design innovativeness. The effects are examined through three studies when various design values (e.g., visual, semantic, or symbolic) are present.
Study 1 examined how different thinking styles influence consumers’ general preference on innovative product design (n = 126). The results showed that holistic thinking style increases positive consumers’ perceptions toward an innovative product design (F(1124) = 36.10; β = 0.48, p < 0.01). Study 2 examined if holistic thinkers have more positive attitudes toward innovative product design. Participants were tested in a 2 (thinking style: analytic vs. holistic) × 2 (product category: electronic vs. non-electronic) between-subjects design (n = 257). In the result, holistic thinkers (vs. analytic thinkers) showed more positive attitudes toward the innovative product design (Mholistic = 4.9 vs. Manalytic = 4.4; F(1253) = 4.6, p < 0.05). Finally, study 3 investigated how value presentation (e.g., semantic or visual aesthetics) influences the attitude toward innovative design among holistic thinkers with a 2 (value: visual vs. visual and semantic) × 2 (thinking style: holistic vs. analytic) between-subjects design (n = 140). The results showed that the attitude toward innovative design was more positive when semantic value were present along with visual aesthetics than when no semantic value was provided (F = 8.33, p < 0.01). The results also supported that presenting both semantic and visual values more positively influences the attitude toward innovative design (β = 2.43, p < 0.01) than presenting only visual aesthetics. The effect was higher for holistic thinkers (β = 2.08, p < 0.05) than analytic thinkers.
In sum, the results suggest that holistic thinkers exhibit more positive preference on innovative product design. Meanwhile, holistic thinkers’ positive attitudes improve more when both semantic and visual values are provided than when only visual aesthetics are present. It is comparable to analytic thinkers who had no significant difference in their attitudes by different design values presented to them. The results contribute to a body of design literature and suggest practical implications to managers on the role of value presentation in improving innovative design perception among consumers.