Research Seminar with Gordy PLEYERS & Benny RIGAUX-BRICMONT

LOURIM Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

June 07, 2019

15:00 - 17:00


UNamur - Rempart de la Vierge, 8 in Namur - Room Camille Joset - 4th floor


Research Seminar with Prof. Benny RIGAUX-BRICMONT (Université Laval) and Prof. Gordy PLEYERS (LOURIM, CCMS)



"Can the benefits of nature walks for psychological well-being and cognitive ability be replicated in a purely virtual environment?"

Can the benefits of nature walks for psychological well-being and cognitive ability be replicated in a purely virtual environment? The private island of Natmoud was built in the virtual world of Second Life (SL) to see whether immersion in such an environment is possibly therapeutic (see Appendix). This exploratory study is based on a small convenience sample of SL residents who were invited by the author’s avatar to visit Natmoud island. The subjects were asked to comment in writing on their experience while there. Reading and analyzing these comments with TROPES semantic software allows us to identify the main factors contributing to a relaxing and comforting atmosphere with an analysis of word associations. The implicit hypothesis that a virtual representation of nature can be soothing is confirmed. We also find that wildlife — which is abundant on the island *— appears to be the main feature that catches the attention of walkers. Given that these verbatim transcripts from a small convenience sample reflect, with one exception, the emotions felt by women, the results cannot really be generalized. In the analyses, the anonymity of the avatars is preserved by using initials, even though in all the cases the participants consented to the reproduction of the emotions they expressed.


Prof. Gordy PLEYERS:

"Congruence in product design: Impacts on automatically activated emotion and trust"

Previous research has largely documented the decisive impact of a product’s visual appearance on consumers’ perceptions and decisions. Recent studies have addressed whether positive effects may result from congruence between different visual features of the packaging (e.g., shape and typeface connoting an identical meaning) or between visual features and the product category (e.g., a fear-evoking design on a potentially harmful product). Overall, they have provided mixed results. The present study focused on the impact of shape congruence in product design, using products whose design combined a clearly angular or rounded bottle and label. Positive effects of congruent designs were expected based on a processing fluency account. Specifically, it was proposed that shape congruence facilitates fluent stimulus processing, thereby inducing a positive affective reaction and trust-related perceptions.The experimental approach used relied primarily on implicit measures in order to examine participants’ automatic (unconscious) responses. The relevance of such measures for analyzing reactions to product designs is supported by theoretical models and empirical evidence strongly suggesting that consumers’ behavior is influenced more by attitudes that are automatically activated when they do not have sufficient resources (i.e., motivation, time or cognitive capacity) to engage in deliberate reasoning.