ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (7): 841-856.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00841

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    


杨晨1, 陈增祥2()   

  1. 1 华南理工大学工商管理学院, 广州 510641
    2 中山大学国际金融学院, 珠海 519082
  • 收稿日期:2018-03-20 出版日期:2019-07-25 发布日期:2019-05-22
  • 通讯作者: 陈增祥
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金项目(71502067);国家自然科学基金项目(71572084);国家自然科学基金项目(71802202);国家自然科学基金项目(71832015);国家自然科学基金项目(71802051);广东省自然科学基金博士启动项目(2016A030310425);教育部哲学社会科学研究重大课题攻关项目资助(17JZD020)

Do numbers have shape? The matching effect between precise numerical information and brand logo shape

YANG Chen1, CHEN Zeng-Xiang2()   

  1. 1 School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
    2 International School of Business & Finance, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China
  • Received:2018-03-20 Online:2019-07-25 Published:2019-05-22
  • Contact: CHEN Zeng-Xiang


数字的精确性(精确 vs.大概)会影响人们的各种心理与推断, 本文在已有研究的基础上提出数字精确性与形状之间存在关联。具体而言, 精确数字会更有可能被感知为多角, 而大概数字更可能被感知为圆润。实验1和2分别通过内隐联想测试和消费情境确认这一效应的存在, 实验3进一步探讨了流畅性感知对上述匹配效应影响消费者产品评价的中介作用, 实验4则通过反转数字的性别象征意义, 提出了匹配效应的边界条件:当人们头脑中形成“精确=女性、大概=男性”的联系时, 会产生精确数字-圆润形状和大概数字-多角形状的匹配关系。这些结果说明了数字信息与形状信息之间存在认知关联, 它对理解个体如何加工数字信息、形状信息以及企业如何利用这些信息提供了一定的启发意义。

关键词: 数字信息, 品牌标识形状, 感知流畅性


Numerical information, such as time, temperature, prices, and product quality ratings, is widely used in our daily lives. As a representation of abstract concepts, numbers have been found to be associated with a concrete concept representation, which is spatial position. Our study enriches this line of research by exploring the association between numbers and shapes. Our study suggests that individuals may project shape information to precise or round numbers. Specifically, precise numbers (round numbers) are likely to be associated with angular shapes (circular shape). Marketing communication materials that feature angular (circular) brand logo shapes may result in favorable evaluations when the numerical information of the product is precise (round).
In the present study, we conducted four experiments to test the hypotheses. Study 1 used an Implicit Association Test to examine the implicit association between numbers and shapes. A total of 39 undergraduate students participated in study 1 (19 men) and were instructed to sort a series of stimuli (numerical and shape stimuli) into two categories as quickly as possible. In compatible blocks, the two categories were “precise or angular” and “round or circular.” In incompatible blocks, the two categories were “round or angular” and “precise or circular.” Study 2 sought to investigate the marketing implications of this association. A total of 125 adults (56 men) were shown an advertisement of a quilt. The advertisement contained no other information except the brand logo and numerical information. After reading the product information, all participants were asked to indicate their product attitudes. Study 3 investigated the mediation role of processing fluency. A total of 200 adult participants (105 men) were provided with information about a laptop bag. After reading the product information, all participants were asked to indicate their product evaluation and processing fluency. Study 4 investigated the boundary effect of concept association (“precise = male” vs. “precise = female”). The procedures consisted of two phases. A total of 244 adults completed a job perception study in phase 1, where the association of the salience concept was manipulated by asking the participants to rate 10 different jobs. In phase 2, the participants were shown an advertisement of a pad and were asked to indicate their perception on the product. In studies 2-4, numerical precision was manipulated through a description of product size, price, weight, or review scores.
The results of study 1 show that the participants classified compatible blocks faster than incompatible blocks. This finding supports the hypothesis that numerical precision and shapes are connected. Precise numbers were indeed associated with angular shape, whereas round numbers were associated with circular shape. The results of studies 2-4 confirm the marketing implications of the association between numbers and shapes. Marketing communications with an angular (circular) brand logo shape may result in favorable evaluations when the product numerical information is precise (round). Moreover, study 4 found the moderating effect of concept association. Consistent with the reasoning, when participants were informed with the “female = precise” association, the association between numerical precision and brand logo shape was reversed.
This research contributes to the literature of numerical cognition and brand logo shape. It provides managers with guidelines on brand logo design and product numerical information setting.

Key words: numerical information, brand logo shape, processing fluency