Carpeted flooring affects consumers' purchases

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Washington, November 18 (ANI): Consumers standing on carpeted flooring feel comforted, which may affect their assessments of products while shopping, says a study.

Authors Joan Meyers Levy (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis), Rui (Juliet) Zhu, and Lan Jiang (both University of British Columbia) looked at feelings evoked by common flooring types hard vinyl tile and carpet in retail environments.

The researchers said: "We first conducted a study to show that carpeting flooring indeed evokes a greater sense of physical comfort than tiled flooring.

"Based on this finding, we addressed a more practical and intriguing question: would these bodily sensations elicited by the flooring transfer to people's assessments of products that they observe while shopping?"

The experts found that those who examined items while standing on a plush carpet judged products that were close as being less comforting than products that were moderately far away.

On the other hand, when items were placed moderately far away, their bodily sensations unconsciously guided their product interpretations. Thus, participants perceived those products as comforting when they stood on carpet.

In a final study, consumers could more easily make out the contents of a gift basket from a moderate distance than from a close one.

The authors said: "Interestingly, the results reversed in this case. When viewed from a moderate distance, the gift basket was judged as more comforting when individuals stood on the hard tile floor rather than the carpeted floor. These results further supported our premise that it is the viewing clarity that ultimately determines the direction of the influence of flooring-induced bodily sensations."

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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