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Measuring Emotions in Product Design: A study on Emotional Responses to Car Designs

Ezgi Erdogan Yilmaz , Nigan Bayazit

People interact with different objects and environments during their life-time; feeling and expressing emotions toward the surrounding objects. Emotions have become one of the most progressive topics of industrial design discipline in recent years, especially with human factors studies, raising the need for investigating the area of emotions in product design. Desmet (2002) defines the emotions that are expressed towards a product as ‘product emotions’. In the present study, PrEmo (Product Emotion Measurement Instrument) developed by Desmet (2002) was used. The aim was to investigate emotional responses to a specific product group, to determine differences across gender groups and to apply an emotion measurement instrument in Turkey to see its validity and usability in a different context. More specifically, the study aims to answer the following research questions: What are the emotional responses of the participants towards the given products? Do the participants from different gender groups differ in terms of their emotional responses to each product given in the instrument? Is PrEmo a suitable and usable measurement instrument in the context of Turkey? Finally, key concepts of emotional design, mainly developed by Desmet (2004, 2003, 2002), were reviewed. The paper reports an empirical research utilizing self-report methodology to assess emotional responses to photographs of seven concept cars in the Turkish context and shows how different product characteristics were perceived differently by men and women.

Emotion Measurement, PrEmo, Turkish context, Gender Differences