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Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, 2nd Edition by Nathalie Nahai

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Chapter 8

Selecting the right images

A picture is worth a thousand words.

FREDERICK R. BARNARD, MARKETER1

In the absence of being able to interact physically with a person or product, when it comes to ecommerce we rely primarily on visual cues to establish the quality and value of an item before we buy. This means that the way in which a business presents its goods and services online can significantly impact sales.2

Although one’s personality, culture and prevailing social norms can influence perceptions of beauty, a growing body of research, such as that conducted by neuroscientist Professor Ramachandran and philosopher Hirstein3, suggests that there may be certain universal principles that underpin our overall sense of aesthetics.

If, as ...

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