Influencing Whether People Feel Crowded (02-16-22)

Reyt and colleagues studied influences on how crowded people in waiting rooms feel.  They report that “Crowded waiting areas are volatile environments, where seemingly ordinary people often get frustrated and mistreat frontline staff. . . . we suggest an intervention that can ‘massage’ outsiders’ perceptions of crowding and reduce the mistreatment of frontline staff. We theorize that providing information for outsiders to read while they wait on a personal medium (e.g., a leaflet, a smartphone) reduces their crowding perceptions and mistreatment of frontline staff, compared to providing the same information on a public medium (e.g., poster, wall sign). We report two studies that confirm our theory: A field experiment in Emergency Departments . . . and an online experiment simulating a coffee shop.”

Jean-Nicolas Reyt, Dorit Efrat-Treister, Daniel Altman, Chen Shapira, Arie Eisenman, and Anat Rafaeli.  2022. “When the Medium Massages Perceptions:  Personal (Vs. Public Displays of Information Reduce Crowding Perceptions and Outsider Mistreatment of Frontline Staff.”  Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 164-178,