Consumers Prefer Abstract Design in Digital Signage: An Application of Fuzzy-Trace Theory in NeuroIS

Anika Nissen, Gabriele Obermeier, Nadine R. Gier, Reinhard Schütte, Andreas Auinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review


Visual designs of digital signage (DS) content shape and influence consumers’ decisions. Understanding the effect of DS design on consumer behavior requires a fundamental understanding of human reasoning and decision-making. This research explores the effect of different visual design cues of DS on a neural level and through the lens of Fuzzy-Trace Theory (FTT). The FTT suggests that humans have both a verbatim-based and a gist-based information processing. To explore the effect of FTT-based visual design, an experiment using functional near-infrared spectroscopy is conducted. DS are tested on three design levels: (1) verbatim: text, (2) verbatim: photographs, and (3) gist-based. Results show that only the gist-based design resulted in significantly higher self-reported results and activated brain areas in the medial prefrontal cortex, which are associated with emotional and rewarding processing. These results challenge the manifest differentiation only between image and text elements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems and Neuroscience - NeuroIS Retreat, 2021
EditorsFred D. Davis, René Riedl, Jan vom Brocke, Pierre-Majorique Léger, Adriane B. Randolph, Gernot Müller-Putz
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783030888992
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventNeuroIS Retreat 2021 : Virtual Conference - Online, Online
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation
Volume52 LNISO
ISSN (Print)2195-4968
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4976


ConferenceNeuroIS Retreat 2021
Abbreviated titleNeuroIS
Internet address


  • Digital signage
  • Fuzzy-trace theory
  • Neural measures
  • Visual design
  • fNIRS


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