Consumers' Responses To Reduced Personal Space In A Service Setting
Three inter-related studies examined consumers' responses to closely spaced tables during a service experience. The first study evaluated emotional responses to a projected dining experience when dining tables were spaced at one of three distances, and found that diners strongly object to closely spaced tables. The second study solicited emotional and behavioral reactions to tight inter-table spacing during an interactive exercise in a laboratory setting and found that there were minimal effects of reduced personal space on user stress or arousal. The third study tested responses to specific inter-table distances during actual dining experiences in a restaurant. Findings from this third study suggest that consumers in a real service environment are less sensitive to reduced personal space than they are when asked about their feelings toward inter-table spacing before the service takes place. The context of the experience is likely to be a key factor in consumers‟ preferences for inter-table spacing and subsequent behaviors. The results from this research enhance the understanding of personal space preferences and behaviors in public spaces and may influence the design and management of service environments, specifically restaurants.
dissertation or thesis