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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Is Speed Feminine or Masculine? Effect of Stereotypical Associations Evoked from Speed of Observed Hand Movement with Products on Consumer Responses

Published: May 25, 2021


Sumit Malik, IE Business School, IE University, Spain; Eda Sayin, IE Business School


This research examines the effect of observed speed of hand movement (e.g., watching a slow vs. fast hand interaction with a product) on consumer responses. We argue that observing the speed of hand movement with an advertised product can elicit stereotypical associations in the consumer’s mind and affect their behavior. Five studies demonstrate that people associate speedy movements with a more masculine (than feminine) behavior and use the hand movement speed as an input to form evaluations of a touched product. Our findings indicate that consumers elicit improved haptic perception and purchase intention when inferences from observed hand movement speed match with their own social identity. Thus, female (vs. male) consumers evince higher textural perception and preference for products that are depicted with a gentle instead of a speedy hand movement. Our findings provide novel evidence on the effect of observed haptic experiences and have direct implications for advertising.