Human beings are attracted to glossy objects. Shiny cars, dazzling diamonds, sequined gowns conjure up images of the good life. As expected, glossy paper is more aesthetically appealing than matte paper. Gloss products/objects have been linked to more favorable attitudes and higher purchase intentions. So why do people like gloss? In addition to positive feelings evoked by the attractiveness and beauty of gloss, gloss’ preference also is related to, an essential resource, fresh water.
Empirical Investigations: Tests
Katrien Meert, Mario Pandelaere, and Vanessa M. Patrick, presented a set of five studies. Their studies draws on the innate preference for fresh water as the underlying force that drives an individuals’ preference for gloss.
Test 1: Demonstrates the assumed preference for glossy among children and adults. Thirty-six adults, between the ages of 19 and 54, and thirty-four children, between the ages of 4 and 5, were presented with eight leaflets. Half of the leaflets were presented on glossy and the other half on matte.
Results: As expected, glossy leaflets were significantly more preferred and obtained a higher attractiveness scores than matte leaflets. Test 1 confirms the beliefs that glossy object/products are more visual attractive than matte.
Test 2: Tests whether the preference for glossy induces a systematic bias. In particular, it tests whether peoples’ attractions to glossy images affect their liking for the image content. One hundred twelve participants were exposed to a random combination of four target landscapes half of which were presented on glossy paper.
Results: Interestingly, the type of paper influenced the respondents more than the landscape image itself. Glossy was significantly more preferred and had a higher liking score than matte.
Test 3: Tests the hypothesis that the preference for glossy stems from an innate needs for fresh water. It also tests the proposed association between glossy/wetness versus matte/dryness. Ninety two respondents participated in this online study. They were shown aquatic versus desert images and were asked to indicate how glossy or matte they perceived each image using a slider ranging from 1 (totally glossy) to 100 (totally matte).
Results: The aquatic landscapes were rated as significantly more glossy than desert landscapes. These results support the hypothesis that the preference for glossy might stem for an innate preference for fresh water- adults perceive aquatic landscapes as more glossy/wet and desert landscapes as more matte/dry.
Test 4: Test 4 extends findings from test 3 beyond the visual domain to exclude the account that the preference for glossy stems from visual appeal. Forty-six, blindfolded, participants were given physical paper and were asked several questions while touching the surface of either the matte or glossy paper.
Results: The blindfolded participants rated both the quality and attractiveness higher on the gloss paper than the matte paper. Additionally, the participants imagined a significantly high amount of water depicted in the landscape when touching the glossy paper. These findings suggest that part of the glossy appeal indeed is due to an association with water.
Test 5: Tests the association of glossy with the need for water via thirst induction. This test included one hundred twenty-six participants. In order to manipulate thirst, participants were given eight salty crackers to consume. Participates received eight images, half on glossy paper and the other half on matte paper. The participants were then asked to rank the images according to their preference.
Results: As expected, more thirst leads to higher preference for glossy. The participants, once again, ranked the glossy pictures higher and the matte pictures lower.
Note: All experiments included a control group identical to the treatment group to minimize the effect of all variables except the independent variable.
The preference for glossy is often associated with high-end goods and luxury items hence, one might suggest that the preference for gloss is caused by the visually appealing appearance. However, we have learned that there is more to this theory and the previous studies suggest people exhibit a systematic preference for gloss. Overall, in addition to positive feelings evoked by the attractiveness and beauty of gloss, gloss’ preference also is related to, an essential resource, fresh water.
Using gloss paper can add attractiveness and beauty to a printed piece. Your customers will not only perceive the glossy stock as high-quality but also relate the gloss with water which linked to more favorable attitudes and higher purchase intentions.
To learn more and to read the full study visit, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1057740813001150#ks0005.
Call us at 407-734-7444 or request a quote today to see how gloss stock can benefit your business!
Meert, Katrien. Pandelaere, Mario. Patrick M, Vanessa. “Taking a shine to it: How the preference for glossy stems from an innate need for water.” Elsevier, ScienceDirect, 27 Dec. 2013, Sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1057740813001150#ks0005. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.