The preference effect in design concept evaluation

Jan B. Nikander*, Lassi A. Liikkanen, Miko Laakso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Concept selection is among the most important activities in new product development, as the consequences of a poor choice may be disastrous at worst. These decisions made in the early phases of design processes are, however, poorly understood from a psychological point of view. This study set out to extend the tradition of experimental decision-making research into the field of design. We investigated whether designers systematically prefer their own ideas in concept evaluation. An experiment with eighteen professional designers was carried out to test the hypothesis. The findings show a systematic preference of self-generated concepts in evaluation tasks. We discuss the implications of this preference effect on design practice and the need for further studies on the topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-499
Number of pages27
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • conceptual design
  • decision making
  • design behaviour
  • ownership effect in design
  • protocol analysis


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