Some men feel more emotion while looking at a beautiful car than they do while looking at a crying child, according to a new study by Volvo.
According to an experiment coordinated by the Swedish carmaker and neuroanalysts Myndplay, good car design can elicit very strong emotions in people of any gender, though men seem “almost genetically programmed to like sleek design with beautiful lines.”
In the experiment, Volvo hooked up participants to an EEG headset; showed them images of beautiful cars like their Volvo Concept Coupe, ugly cars, happy and crying babies and attractive men and women; and measured the activity in their brains’ pre-frontal cortexes.
The results showed the strongest emotional reaction generally was to images of crying babies, though the intensity of female participants’ emotions when shown the images was almost doubled that of male participants.
The emotional intensity some men experienced while looking at the Volvo actually exceeded the intensity experienced while looking at the crying baby photos.
Nearly three-quarters of men said good design made them feel positive; and just one-third of women ranked car design images more attractive than those of good-looking men, Volvo said.
In a separate poll, Volvo also found about 43 percent of men found a car design’s its most appealing feature, and that men found the front of the car most attractive, while women appreciated the rear end more.
“Appreciating an aesthetically pleasing design is an experience which combines understanding and emotions,” Dr. David Lewis, an expert in the neuroscience of consumerism, said in the Volvo press release.
“These are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to distinguish between them. Aesthetic experience involves a unity of sensuous delight, meaningful interpretation, and emotional involvement.”
Do you find a beautiful car design evokes emotions in you? What about the Volvo Concept Coupe?