Exploring the Impact of Various Shaped Seating Arrangements on Persuasion
41 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 5, 2013
Despite the common belief that seating arrangements matter, little research has examined how the geometrical shape of a chair arrangement can impact persuasion. Across three studies, this research demonstrates that the shape of seating arrangements can prime two fundamental human needs which in turn influence persuasion. When seated in a circular shaped layout, individuals evaluate persuasive material more favorably when it contains family-oriented cues or majority endorsement information. In contrast, when seated in an angular shaped seating arrangement, individuals evaluate persuasive material more favorably when it contains self-oriented cues or minority endorsement. Further, results reveal that these responses to persuasive material arise because circular (angular) shaped seating arrangements prime a need to belong (need to be unique). Thus, this research shows that a subtle environmental cue – the shape of a seating arrangement – can activate fundamental human needs and consequently affect persuasion.
Keywords: atmospherics, chairs, shapes, persuasion
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