How Do Pictures Shape "Liking" Behavior? A Stimulus-Organism-Response Perspective

54 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2022 Last revised: 13 Jan 2022

See all articles by Xinyao Wang

Xinyao Wang

School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

Yifan Yu

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business; Amazon

Jinghua Huang

Tsinghua University - Department of Management Science and Engineering

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Date Written: January 1, 2022

Abstract

In recent years, online content has shifted from text-centric to visual-oriented content. Despite the massive amount of pictures embedded in online content, how pictures affect people’s liking remains understudied. Using the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) model, the current work investigates this question in the context of the catering industry. We divide the model into two linkages: a stimulus-organism linkage, in which pictures acting as stimuli influence viewers’ affective and cognitive states, and an organism-response linkage, in which such states shape “liking” behavior. Picture features are further classified into domain-related and visual aesthetics features. The affective state is measured by valence and arousal according to the dimensional model of emotion. The cognitive state is measured by perceived calorie content. Using data from dianping.com, one of the largest online review platforms in China, we combine manual tagging and machine learning approaches to measure picture-evoked affective and cognitive states. Leveraging a hierarchical generalized linear model, we find that the domain-related and visual aesthetics features of pictures significantly affect valence, arousal, and perceived calorie content, further influencing liking behavior. This study demonstrates the effect of emotions evoked by visual information, thus providing managerial implications for review providers, platform managers, and restaurant owners.

Keywords: Stimulus-organism-response model, “liking” behavior, valence, arousal, perceived calorie content, pictures

JEL Classification: M15, M21, M31

Suggested Citation

Wang, Xinyao and Yu, Yifan and Huang, Jinghua and Tan, Yong, How Do Pictures Shape "Liking" Behavior? A Stimulus-Organism-Response Perspective (January 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3998058 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3998058

Xinyao Wang

School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing
China

Yifan Yu

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States

HOME PAGE: http://staff.washington.edu/yifanyu/pro/

Amazon ( email )

Jinghua Huang (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - Department of Management Science and Engineering ( email )

United States

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353226
Seattle, WA 98195-3226
United States

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