Flemington, NJ, December 4, 2007 – It’s that time of the year again when some houses blaze with Christmas lights and some are more restrained. What are the owners like? Are those blazing houses nuisances or fun and fine?
To answer these questions, HCD Research conducted a national study among 900 people using its mediacurves.com web site during November 27-29. Half of the participants viewed a photo taken at night of a modest house decked out in lights and illuminated figures, while the other half viewed a daytime photo of a similar modest house decorated with a few wreaths. After viewing the photos participants were asked the same questions about the type of people who might live in the houses.
Overall, the houses with and without major decorations housed similar types of people. However, there were some major differences. More people indicated that the owners of the decorated house were middle-aged couples with children. The less decorated house was perceived to contain middle age or older people with no children in the house.
Occupations were similar however, the head of the decorated house was more likely to be perceived as a doctor or lawyer and the head of the less decorated house was more likely to be perceived as a teacher or social worker. The survey also revealed that the head of the decorated house was perceived to possibly have more money.
What were the personalities that were expressed through the decorations? Mr. Decorated (and he was a male) was viewed by more people as a really outgoing person, active and adventurous, lots of fun, likely to share with others and more likely to give lots of presents. He was also perceived to be somewhat wild. Perhaps because of this, more people viewed him as a person with a lot of “Christmas spirit.”
Mr. Less Decorated is seen by more survey participants as being old fashioned: “ordinary,’ neat, conservative, careful about spending money, a churchgoer and slightly keeps to himself. He is viewed as a helpful neighbor and is seen by a few more participants as “liked” by his neighbors.
How are they similar? They are equally viewed as friendly. However, there was somewhat of a surprise in the study, as neither is perceived as believing that Christmas is a deeply religious holiday.
What about the neighborhood? More participants indicated that they would like to have Mr. Less Decorated as a neighbor and to have his house in the neighborhood Slightly more reported that his house would improve the neighborhood as compared to Mr. Decorated’s house.
Regarding ethnicity, there was virtually no difference. Nearly all the participants thought both Mr. Decorated and Mr. Less Decorated were white Americans.
In summary, Mr. Less Decorated is perceived to be a bit more of an asset to the neighborhood. Mr. Decorated, friendly, fun, and generous as he is, might be a little too much, maybe even a little too grating to be as good a neighbor as Mr. Less Decorated.
For detailed information on this study, please go to www.mediacurves.com The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.
HCD Research specializes in conducting communications research for the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, financial and entertainment industries, among others.
Headquartered in Flemington, NJ, the company's services include traditional and web-based communications research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at www.hcdi.net or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.
Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Arthur Kover, Ph. D., consulting director, HCD Research, or Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research, please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).