It is estimated that 73 percent of purchase decisions are made at point of sale. In scanning packs at point of sale, perception is rapid, and quick recognition is important for inclusion in the decision process. Under conditions of rapid perception, there is an advantage for verbal stimuli perceived from the right‐hand side, and for non‐verbal stimuli perceived from the left‐hand side. This advantage probably derives from the laterality of the brain, with word processing generally being handled by the left hemisphere, while the right hemisphere generally processes pictorial matter. This asymmetry of perception implies that to maximise recall, words should be on the right‐hand sides of packs, pictures should be on the left. We tested this, using a tachistoscope to measure difference in recall. The results confirm the asymmetry of perception of elements of packaging.
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