Aesthetic package design: A behavioral, neural, and psychological investigation

Martin Reimann, Judith Zaichkowsky, Carolin Neuhaus, T. Bender, Bernd Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

331 Scopus citations


In four experiments, this research sheds light on aesthetic experiences by rigorously investigating behavioral, neural, and psychological properties of package design. We find that aesthetic packages significantly increase the reaction time of consumers' choice responses; that they are chosen over products with well-known brands in standardized packages, despite higher prices; and that they result in increased activation in the nucleus accumbens and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, according to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results suggest that reward value plays an important role in aesthetic product experiences. Further, a closer look at psychometric and neuroimaging data finds that a paper-and-pencil measure of affective product involvement correlates with aesthetic product experiences in the brain. Implications for future aesthetics research, package designers, and product managers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-441
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Aesthetics
  • Consumer neuroscience
  • FMRI
  • Neuromarketing
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Packaging design
  • Reward
  • Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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