On Breaking Functional Fixedness. How the Aha! Moment Enhances Perceived Product Creativity and Product Appeal

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Abstract

How do consumers react to products assembled from existing components? Nine studies in both the lab and the field demonstrate that consumers evaluate products as more creative and more appealing when they consist of components that originally served entirely different functions. When consumers realize that the intended functionality of a component is not fixed, but versatile, they experience an aha! moment, which in turn enhances perceived product creativity and product appeal. This research bridges engineering and consumer research providing theoretical contributions to the product design and creativity literature. The findings of this research have substantive implications for designing sustainable products, especially for product upcycling, the process of transforming old or used components into new products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-69
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

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