Want to Feel Powerful? Buy a Watch or Car With a Wide Face
When it comes to people, most of us don’t cotton to those with wide faces because those wide-faced people seem too dominating. But with products that have human-like features, we seem to prefer wide “faces,” says Ahreum Maeng, an assistant professor in marketing at the Kansas University School of Business in Lawrence and the author of a report on the phenomenon, published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
We all attribute human traits to non-human objects, which causes us to see car headlights as eyes, for example. "These kinds of things are automatically going on in people’s brains. When we see those shapes resembling a human face in the product design, we can’t help but perceive it that way,” stated Maeng in a press release.
When she and her colleagues asked study participants to imagine what type of car or watch they’d want in a certain situation, they found that when it was a situation where they wanted to be seen as dominant – such as a business negotiation or a high-school reunion – participants were more likely to choose a wider product design.