How shapes influence social judgments

Ursula Hess, Orna Gryc, Shlomo Hareli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In two studies we investigated the impact of shapes in the environment on social judgments and decisions. The present research focuses on the notion that early sensorimotor experiences with shapes entrain social judgments that can be applied to people and situations. In early childhood we have different experiences with differently shaped objects, and one pertinent difference is whether an object is round or sharp. Sharp objects have the potential to hurt us and to be used aggressively in a way that round objects do not. Two studies confirmed that people who are exposed to sharp versus round shapes perceive others as more aggressive and are more likely to make an aggressive decision in a task requiring effortful thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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