The Influence of Context on Product Judgement – Presenting Assistive Products as Consumer Goods
Ana Maria Vieira Rebelo Correia de Barros, Carlos Duarte, José Bulas Cruz


It is said that the reluctance of people to use assistive products can be attributed to two factors: the first is a concern about aesthetics, and the second is the stigma associated with their use. This paper reports the results of an experiment to test whether people’s responses to assistive products are affected by alterations in the way in which assistive products are portrayed. Two different catalogues depicting the same assistive products were presented to two different groups of respondents. One of the catalogues simulated an ordinary kitchen catalogue and the other simulated a common assistive products catalogue. Although the main attribute mentioned for preferring one object over another was common to both groups, motivations behind its use differed between groups, and the context of presentation influenced the groups’ opinions about the objects which were presented. The experiment suggests that by designing and presenting assistive products as general consumer goods it may be possible to reduce stigmatic elements from being associated with them.

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