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    This study investigated the perceptions that people have of several commercially important wood species and determined if word-based and specimen-based evaluations differed. Such knowledge can help secondary wood manufacturers better understand their products and develop more effective design concepts and promotional messages. A sample of more than 250 undergraduate students at a major midwestern university was split into two groups and asked to rate six wood species on several semantic-differential items, based either on word association or physical wood samples. The two methods of evaluation often produced different results that were more pronounced for certain species, especially oak. Some gender-based differences were also observed. Respondents generally had difficulty identifying the species that they were observing, particularly mahogany and maple, yet maintained definite perceptual images of these same species. It is suggested that species perception is an important and lasting component of the total product concept for secondary wood products, and can moderate appearance-based evaluations.

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    Bumgardner, Matthew S.; Bowe, Scott A. 2002. Species selection in secondary wood products: implications for product design and promotion. Wood and Fiber Science. 34(3): 408-418.


    wood species, perceptions, total product concept, product design, product promotion

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