Sleek design ‘makes men emotional’, scientists find
IT’S official – a beautiful car will make you cry.
Data has been collected, not by searching for a tear in the eye or a lump in the throat as guinea pigs were shown dream cars from Ferrari or Lamborghini, but through an official scientific experiment.
Volvo, together with EEG specialists Myndplay, analysed how the brain reacts emotionally to car design and how design aesthetics actually make us feel. EEG is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp and measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current flows within the neurons of the brain. The experiment showed that humans react emotionally to the shape of a car, with men in particular seeming almost genetically programmed to like sleek design.
The experiment was conducted to coincide with the launch of the Volvo Concept Coupé, the first car to embody Volvo’s new design strategy aimed at building a more emotive connection with the brand.
Participants were asked to rate a series of images whilst wearing a dry sensor EEG headset that measured brainwave activity in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. The images included the new Volvo Concept Coupé alongside perceived ‘bad’ and ‘out-dated’ car design, visuals of happy/crying babies and men and women considered to be ‘beautiful’.
Thomas Ingenlath of Volvo, said: “This survey finally proves what we’ve always suspected. Beautiful car design can elicit strong emotional responses ranging from a positive frame of mind to a sense of empowerment.”
Men experienced more emotion whilst looking at images of beautiful cars than they did whilst looking at an image of a crying child.
74 per cent of men claimed that good design made them feel positive.
33 per cent of women rated images of cars higher than an image of an attractive man.
60 per cent of men claimed that driving a beautiful car makes them feel confident and empowered.
Dr David Lewis, a specialist in the neuroscience of consumerism and communications, said: “Appreciating an aesthetically pleasing design is an experience which combines understanding and emotions.”
STRONG RESPONSE: EEG specialists recorded human reactions to the shape of the new Volvo Concept Coupe.