ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 1256-1272.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.01256

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Do consumers always prefer a smiley face? Effects of product “facial” expressions on consumer attitude

XIE Zhipeng1(), ZHAO Jing2, WANG Tao2   

  1. 1 School of Economics and Business Administration, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2 Economics and Management School of Wuhan University, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430073, China
  • Received:2019-08-20 Online:2020-08-15 Published:2020-06-28
  • Contact: XIE Zhipeng


For many consumers, product face is an important factor that determines their evaluation and purchase decision. Up till now, many researchers believe that negative product facial expressions (e.g anger) are negatively related to customer attitude and behavior. But in reality, negative faces are also related to coolness and competence. Up till now, researches regarding the paradoxical effect of anthropomorphized product expression remain scarce, and the existing work on social communication cannot be used to explain personified products without adaptation and testing. Based on this research gap, 3 questions remain unsolved: how does product facial expression influence consumer behavior; what is the psychological mechanism behind such effect; will product type and consumer characteristics influence consumer perception of product facial expression? The answers to these questions can be used to expand the theory of personification in marketing, and to guide product managers in choosing the most appropriate design for their products.

Key words: anthropomorphism, facial expression, perceived autonomy, customer evaluation, customer behavior

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