Gloria Moss is a Professor in Marketing and Management at Buckinghamshire New University and Visiting Professor at the Ecole Superieure de Gestion (ESG), Paris with a background in industry and consultancy in Human Resources. She has a PhD and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
In 1993, she made a chance discovery at a water colours exhibition in London that, when jotting down the numbers of the paintings I preferred, the vast majority were by women (the paintings were not labelled so there was no way of knowing the gender of the painter). Since most of the paintings were by men, it turned out that the odds were against a skewed choice in terms of gender of artist.
At the time, there was no research at the time into male and female aesthetic preferences - surprising since the implications in the event of differences are immense for the worlds of Fine Art, Design and Marketing - and so began a long journey of discovery to supply the pieces in the jigsaw.
Through many experiments with graphic, product and web design, she found that what men and women produce visually is differentiated in consistent ways and that there is a massive tendency for people to prefer designs/ visuals produced by people of their own gender. Since a high proportion of designers and marketers are male and since about 83% of consumers are female, you can see the potential implications of this discovery. Moreover, you could ask whether the largely male artistic canon reflected in Art Galleries around the world could be linked to the fact that the majority of gallery curators have been men.
Why these differences in visual productions and preferences? New research shows that men and women perceive shapes and colours differently and Gloria Moss has interpreted the differences as originating in prehistoric times with men's visual skills adapted to hunting and women's to gathering and nurturing activities. These hunter and gatherer ways of seeing carry on into our homes, relationships and the world of Fine Art, Design, Marketing and architecture.
Moss has now published 70 academic articles and conference papers and three books to have this new information 'rubber stamped' as new knowledge (for books see below). She has delivered consultancy to companies to blue-chip companies including Marks and Spencer, BT, Canon Cameras, 02, Ford, Bounty and Directksi, helping them refine their products and services for markets of women.
'Why men like straight lines and women like polka dots' brings this new science of perception to a wider audience. Now finally men and women will understand why they don't agree on the colour or shape of the sofa and the world around you will never look the same again!
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