Date

3-2014

Degree Name

BA in Communication Studies

Department

Communication Studies Department

Advisor(s)

Julia K. Woolley

Abstract

Ecommerce has become an increasingly visual activity as images of product fill websites, social media, and social curation sites. The Elaboration Likelihood Model has often been used to examine and explain online purchasing behavior; however, this previous research barely touches on the use of peripheral cues. In analyzing the effect of peripheral cues on buying habits when searching social curation sites, statistical results from a survey conducted using women aged 18 to 34 in the San Luis Obispo area showed that these cues made no difference on the activity of a user. Regardless of their awareness to the visual cues, subjects were not persuaded to purchase or otherwise engage with the product they viewed. As our society becomes increasing technology-centered, it is important to look at how marketing and advertising that uses imagery is affecting decision making.