Effects of appearance on the perceived comfort of automotive seats

T. Erol, Cyriel Diels, James Shippen, Dale Richards, Chris Johnson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


    Automotive seat comfort is becoming one of the major aspects in distinguishing companies from their competitors. We here explored the role of the visual appearance of automotive seats in the perception of initial seat comfort. Unlike discomfort, the concept of comfort is regarded a highly subjective and multi-faceted phenomenon. This paper addressed the possibility of improving the perception of comfort through the mere manipulation of the visual appearance in otherwise identical automotive seats. In addition, the study explored gender differences in sensitivity to the effects of visual appearance and perceived comfort. The results showed that the visual appearance of physically identical seats had a large and statistically significant effect on perceived comfort. Furthermore, the effect of visual appearance on perceived comfort was found to be considerably larger for female participants. The results are discussed in the context of potential underlying mechanisms relating visual appearance to aesthetics, positive affect, perceived ergonomic quality, and product personality. Suggestions for future studies are provided with regards to visual design parameters and their effect on the perception of automotive seat comfort.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Human Factors and Ergonomics 2014
    Subtitle of host publication20 Volume Set: Proceedings of the 5th AHFE Conference 19-23 July 2014
    PublisherAHFE Conference
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics - Kraków, Poland
    Duration: 19 Jul 201423 Jul 2014


    Conference5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics

    Bibliographical note

    The full text of this item is not currently available from the repository.


    • automotive seat comfort
    • visual appearance
    • perceived comfort
    • car seats
    • product design


    Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of appearance on the perceived comfort of automotive seats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this