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EMAC 2021 Regional Conference


Prefer Linear or Crooked? A Spatial Perception Perspective.
(R2021-104584)

Published: September 22, 2021

AUTHORS

Sakshi Aggarwal, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, India; Sanjeev Tripathi, Indian Institute of Management, Indore, India; Sudipta Mandal, Indian Institute of Management, Indore, India

KEYWORDS

Spatial perception; Route angularity effect; Consumption patterns

ABSTRACT

Does the orientation of a path impact a person’s expectation and consumption at the destination? We draw from the literature in diverse domains and theorize that linear paths are associated with peace and serenity, while crooked paths are associated with thrill and adventurousness. We empirically demonstrate that individuals perceive destinations reached on traversing crooked (vs. linear) reached on traversing crooked (vs. linear) paths as more adventurous. This effect persists not only for physical paths but also for schematic maps. We demonstrate that the relationship between the path crookedness and the benefit of the end destination is mediated by the perceived difficulty of traversing the crooked path. The fit between the paths and individual requirements influences their consumption patterns. We expect a similar effect on consumption i.e. consumers prefer crooked (vs. linear) schemas when they shop for hedonic (vs. utilitarian) purchases.