Reading habits contribute to the effects of display direction on product choice
journal.pone.0209837.pdf 1.31 MB
It has been shown that people process assortment variety more efficiently in horizontal dis-plays than in vertical displays, owing to human visual characteristics that favor the horizontal direction. Consequently, the number and variety of products chosen tends to increase when they are arranged horizontally. I show that this horizontal display advantage can be modu-lated by culture, especially writing and reading habits. When Japanese participants, who write and read text vertically as well as horizontally, chose products in horizontal and vertical displays, horizontal displays did not consistently increase the variety of products chosen. In other words, the horizontal display advantage was eliminated (Experiments 1A and 1B). However, when Japanese readers initially read horizontally, it led to a robust advantage for the horizontal display. Similarly, initial vertical reading resulted in a vertical display advan-tage (Experiments 2 and 3). These results suggest that horizontal displays are not always advantageous, and that optimal display direction for product choice is affected by reading habits.
This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences KAKENHI Grant Number JP17K17909. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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© 2018 Atsunori Ariga. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences