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Authors:Rilda Schütte: Linköping University, IEI/Q, Linköping, Sweden
Simon Schütte: Linköping University, IEI/Q, Linköping, Sweden
Publication title:Affective Impact of Warning-Signs A Study Utilizing Kansei Engineering Methodology
Conference:10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence, 18-20 June, 2007 in Helsingborg, Sweden
Publication type: Full text not available
Issue:026
Article No.:090
Abstract:It is commonly recognized that a scull on a black flag symbolizes “pirates” and acts thereby as a warning sign. In centuries this flag has spread fear and despair on the world oceans. It is therefore closely connected with culture that it has become a general symbol for “danger” in many other areas as well.

Amazingly, most literature on application of warning signs usually only deals with standardising shapes, size and symbols of warning signs in different contexts (compare (Executive, 1996, mekanstandardisering, 1984, Meeting, 1991). Not much work has been done evaluating how and in which way warning signs have an impact on human psyche.

A warning is an artefact. Its purpose is to evoke a suitable reaction of human beings in a certain context. This is achieved by creating a connection between the warning e.g. an abstract sign or sound signal (Edworthy and A., 1995) and its referent (Easterby and Zwanga, 1984). The referent is a product or objective situation which under certain circumstances can be hazardous to human beings.

The warning itself has two different aspects; an iconic aspect and an informational aspect which together trigger an appropriate action. The informational aspect can be a symbol or text. The iconic aspect can be the shape, colour, symbols etc. In contrast to the informational aspect, the iconic aspect needs to be mapped and interpreted. From this information the degree of urgency is then derived.

A warning sign consists of a carrier have a certain colour or combination of different colours and a shape. Reserach shows that certain colours and combinations of colours do have an affective impact on the human mind (Edworthy and Adams, 1996). In nature, yellow/black can be found on insects siganlizing danger. Also red and orange colours are considered to do so (Edworthy and Adams, 1996). Hence those colours are preferred colours for displays or e.g.painting dangerous machines or parts of them.

Commonly, also symbols are used in order diversify the way the danger can apply. These symbols can either be descriptive (i.e. describing the hazard), prescriptive (i.e. explaining suitable behaviour) or proscriptive (i.e. forbidding certain behaviour) (Easterby and Hankeil, 1977). However these symbols does probably possess no or low emotional effect. Correct interpretation requires prior knowledge and a similar social context.

Language:English
Keywords:Warning sign, Affective Engineering, Affective Meaning
Year:2007
No. of pages:8
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
File:
Available:2008-02-15
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Rilda Schütte, Simon Schütte (2007). Affective Impact of Warning-Signs A Study Utilizing Kansei Engineering Methodology, 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence, 18-20 June, 2007 in Helsingborg, Sweden http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=026;article=090 (accessed 8/20/2014)