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Display “Why” Higher than “How”: How Display Positioning Affects Construal Level

By Xixian Peng, Xinwei Wang and Dezhi Wu

Abstract

Prior research has shown that vertical position of an item is important in both an offline and an online digital context. However, findings in the digital context are inconsistent and atheoretical. Recent psychology research has observed that looking up vs. down can shift processing style (abstract vs. concrete) because looking up (down) tends to associate with observing distant (proximal) stimuli. Based on this insight, we propose that when looking at an object displayed on the top (bottom) of a webpage, users will process the object in a relatively abstract (concrete) way. Further, according to the fit hypothesis in the construal level theory, we propose that advertising with low-level (vs. high-level) construals will be more persuasive when it appears at the bottom (vs. on the top) of the webpage. An initial study has been conducted to examine our propositions. Two future studies using eye-tracking technology are proposed to provide more stringent evidence

Publisher: AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Year: 2019
OAI identifier: oai:aisel.aisnet.org:icis2019-1067

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