Leftward lighting in advertisements increases advertisement ratings and purchase intention

Jennifer Hutchison, Nicole A. Thomas, Lorin Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


It has been reliably shown that light is assumed to come from above. There is also some suggestion that light from the left might be preferred. Leftward lighting biases have been observed across various mediums such as paintings, portraits, photographs, and advertisements. As advertisements are used to persuade the public to purchase products, it was of interest to better understand whether leftward lighting would influence future intention to purchase. Participants gave preference ratings for pairs of advertisements with opposing lighting directions. Attitude towards the advertisement and the brand as well as future purchase intention was then rated. Overall, participants indicated that they preferred advertisements with leftward lighting and were more likely to purchase these products in the future than when the same products were lit from the right. Findings are consistent with previously observed leftward lighting biases and suggest that advertisements with a leftward lighting bias might be more effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Advertising
  • Laterality
  • Lighting bias

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