Signaling Environmental Altruism through Design: The Role of Green Cue Prominence in Hybrid Cars
Jeongmin Lee, Bohee Jung, Wujin Chu
We examined prototypical design characteristics of an environmentally-friendly product, which we call green cue prominence. In this paper, we performed two studies. In Study 1, we searched for characteristics of emblem, color, texture (matte vs. glossy), and shape (static vs. dynamic; simple vs. complex; rounded vs. edged) that might act as cues for environmental friendliness in the design of hybrid cars. Results show that cars deemed to be more environmentally friendly were those with a modified emblem, simple and rounded shape, and with a matte finish. Also, green, blue, and white colors were better signs of environmental friendliness than red or black. In Study 2, we examined two circumstances under which green cue prominent design is desired. In the first circumstance, we showed that green cue prominent design is perceived as being more attractive when it is for a hybrid car, but not for gasoline engine cars. In the second circumstance, green cue prominent design is perceived as being more attractive when the buyer of the car has a high status-seeking motive.
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