In this article, the authors examine the role of self-construal in aesthetic preference for angular versus rounded shapes. Previous research found an independent self-construal is associated with a confrontation approach to conflict resolution, whereas an interdependent self-construal is associated with compromise. Furthermore, the literature in empirical aesthetics suggests that angular shapes tend to generate confrontational associations, and rounded shapes tend to generate compromise associations. Accordingly, the authors propose individuals with independent self-construals should perceive angular shapes as more attractive, whereas individuals with interdependent self-construals should find rounded shapes more attractive. The authors argue this effect of self-construal should be more pronounced when people expect that their shape preferences will be evaluated by others because culturally consistent responses will be more accessible in this situation. These hypotheses were largely confirmed in a field study that classified logos from a variety of countries and two experiments in which self-construal was experimentally primed.
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- COLLECTIVE SELF
- PRIVATE SELF
- culture orientation
- marketing design preference