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  • 1 Department of Personality and Health Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 Group of Behavioural Sciences, Institute for Health Promotion and Sport Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 4 Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract

Perceptual characteristics of curatives can have an impact on their expected effectiveness. The hypotheses of the present work were that differences can be found among preferences of different looking tablets and these preferences are determined by the combination of the effect, colour and shape/size of tablets. In the paper-and-pencil study, the estimated probabilities of choice for tablets with different perceptual characteristics were rated in three effect groups on five-grade Likert scales by 181 university students (mean age: 19.8 years, 37.9% males). Significant differences were found among the ratings of tablets within every effect group. White tablets were generally preferred in the analgesic-antipyretic group. Small, round, white and blue tablets proved to be the most attractive in the sedative-hypnotic group and small, round, red and yellow tablets in the spasmolytic group. Considering tablets with a given pharmaceutic effect, patient's choice is influenced by the combination of colour and shape/size. Discrepancies between the expected and the actual perceptual characteristics of medicines might influence their overall effectiveness and patient's adherence to treatment.

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