Romero and Craig have identified a relationship between shapes seen, thoughts, and money spent. They report that “Human-like shapes are abundantly present in the marketplace, such as in product shapes (e.g., Coca-Cola bottles) and décor (e.g., mall decorations). Are these shapes innocuous or do they impact subsequent purchase decisions? . . . We find that when consumers see shapes that resemble a thin human form, they access positive stereotypical knowledge related to a thin weight-group. Furthermore, across various relevant consumer financial decisions, high-BMI [body mass index] consumers make indulgent spending choices after seeing a thin, human-like shape.” To clarify, “a shape resembling thin human body types activates concepts [thoughts] related to positive financial outcomes, such as responsibility and hard work.”
Marisabel Romero and Adam Craig. 2016. “Costly Curves: How Human-Like Shapes Can Increase Spending.” Journal of Consumer Research, in press.