• Oct 8, 2008


Click above for gallery of CARS photochopped by our readers


Consumers prefer cars to be angry-looking and dominant. That's the official word from a team at the University of Vienna after studying a group of male and female volunteers. Each were asked to rate the design features on 38 passenger cars introduced between 2004 and 2006. After rating the vehicle's physical traits, the researchers asked if the subjects saw "faces" (it's a phenomenon called "pareidolia") in the vehicles' appearances. Lastly, they asked participants which cars in the group they preferred. Interestingly enough, the more a vehicle bore characteristics appearing mature, dominant, masculine, arrogant, and angry-looking, the better the research subjects liked the cars. While the study didn't correlate actual sales figures with implied vehicle attitudes, it does add credence to the fact that emotion sways consumers towards certain models and adds yet another meaning to the familiar mid-cycle "facelift."


[Source: MSNBC via Kicking Tires]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, really? Kind of a lame study, isn't it? (Still the kind of thing I'd love to conduct, though.)

      I do wonder how this "emotional" sway due to aggressive styling affects sales, or how any of this is even relevant. Who were the subjects, anyway? Many people don't even care about their car's appearance.

      I, however, do care, and still I just bought a Jetta 2.0T because of its powertrain, fuel economy, ride and price rather than because I think it looks manly and aggressive. And yes, I'm a man.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I know I am. I mean the new Pony cars are all straight pissed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Two cars from my childhood have grilles I remember. The Austin Healey Sprite had to be the happiest-looking car I ever saw!

      The other was a model of Hillman, I forget the model. (They still brought in Jeremy Clarkson's heart-throb cars in those days; this Hillman was one of them). The "expression" of the grille was the exact same look as that on the face of a kid I knew when he was crying. Exact same expression! The resemblance was frightening.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My wife used to like my car (before we sold due to moving to NYC) because it had the kind of angry looking face. It used to shout 'get out of my way'.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So that explains why I bought an 07 Dodge Charger
      • 6 Years Ago
      duh
      • 6 Years Ago
      anyone else sick of cars say "I"
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the moral of the story is if you want to make a car sell better, draw angry eyebrows on it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everytime you all post one of these galleries, I have to watch Cars. Ugh. Damn you all to hell.
      s13hybrid
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wasn't this study done with 20 males and 20 females, how is that enough people to even be considered general "people?" It's like if I got a group of friends together and asked them something, wrote it down, and reported it as an official survey.

      This goes in the duhh/stupid official report category.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Yes, 40 people is large enough to get a pretty damn good result. You only need something like 36 samples (wiki says >30) to get a result with a 95% confidence interval. So yes, this is enough people to get a good result.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Let me guess, you said 'why do I need to know this' a lot during your math classes didn't you?
        s13hybrid
        • 6 Years Ago
        @s13hybrid
        Is my non existant math incorrect?

        Or is it that 40 people counts as a large enough group to make an official survey legitamate?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So we should make more cars that look like Nancy Pelosi? Oh, wait. That's ugly face, not angry face.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, we should make them like Janet Reno. Ugly AND angry.
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