Beyond Surprise: A Longitudinal Study on the Experience of Visual-Tactual Incongruities in Products
Geke D.S. Ludden, Hendrik NJ Schifferstein, Paul Hekkert


When people encounter products with visual-tactual incongruities, they are likely to be surprised because the product feels different than expected. In this paper, we investigate (1) the relationship between surprise and the overall liking of the products, (2) the emotions associated with surprise, and (3) the long-term effects of surprise. We created products that were similar in visual appearance but that differed in their tactual characteristics. Participants evaluated the same products at three different points in time. Surprise was often followed by the emotions interest, fascination, amusement, confusion, indignation and irritation. We suggest that the liking for surprising products may be the composite effect of a decreased liking due to unfamiliar characteristics and increased liking due to positive emotions following surprise. Although the effect of surprise diminishes over time, it persists and can be demonstrated at multiple occasions.

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