Seat Selection (08-08-19)

Staats and Groot investigated where solo individuals choose to sit in a crowded café when there are already people sitting in some of the coffee house seats.  The researchers report that  “we manipulated two aspects of intimacy (eye contact and distance to others), and one aspect of privacy (architectural anchoring) in separate scenario’s and registered participants’ seat choice on floor plans of the three hypothetical cafés. We found that more often participants chose a seat that was at a larger distance to other café-goers. Study 2 . . . replicated the design of the first study. . . . This time we found that participants more often chose low-eye contact and anchored seats.”  An important clarification: “privacy was manipulated by altering the amount of possible input regulation by ‘anchoring’ one of two tables to a wall. . . . This shielded the vacant seat from café-goers seated at other tables, but not from those that were seated at the same table.”  

Henk Staats and Piet Groot. 2019.  “Seat Choice in a Crowded Café: Effects of Eye Contact, Distance, and Anchoring.”  Frontiers in Psychology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00331