The "Beauty Dilemma": beauty is valued but discounted in product choice

  • Diefenbach S
  • Hassenzahl M
  • 91

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 25

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

The empirical study of aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is concerned with - among other topics - the relationship between beauty and usability and the general impact of beauty on product choice and use. Specifically, the present paper explores the notion of a "beauty dilemma" - the idea that people discount beauty in a choice situation, although they value it in general (i.e., they are not choosing what makes them happy). We explored this idea in three studies with a total of over 600 participants. Study 1 revealed a reluctance to pay for beauty due to its hedonic nature (i.e., associated with luxury etc.). Study 2 showed that people prefer a more beautiful product, but justify their choice by referring to spurious advantages in usability. Finally, Study 3 revealed that a choice situation which requires a trade-off between beauty and usability, and which offers no further way to justify choosing beauty, leads to a sharp increase in the preference of usability. The underlying reasons for this "beauty dilemma" and further implications are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • aesthetics
  • beauty
  • beauty dilemma
  • product choice
  • user experience

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Sarah Diefenbach

  • Marc Hassenzahl

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free