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The effect of gaze on consumers’ encounter evaluation
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7480-9318
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8102-8168
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Psychology. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, ISSN 0959-0552, E-ISSN 1758-6690, Vol. 44, no 4, 372-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The research concerns the effect of frontline employees’ averted or direct gaze on consumers’ evaluation of the encounter. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that in normal interactions, a direct or averted gaze affects people’s evaluation of others. The question was whether this finding would hold true in commercial interactions.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted three experiments using a written scenario with a photograph among a total sample of 612 participants.

Findings – This research showed that consumers’ social impression of the frontline employees mediated the effect of the employees’ gazing behaviour on consumers’ emotions and satisfaction with the encounters. The findings also showed that averting gaze had a negative effect on consumers’ first impression of the frontline employee, which affected consumers’ satisfaction with the encounter. The findings also showed that a direct gaze had a negative effect on encounter satisfaction when consumers sought to purchase embarrassing products.

Originality/value – The research demonstrated that the effect of gaze on encounter satisfaction was mediated by the social impression and moderated by consumers’ approach/avoidance motivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. Vol. 44, no 4, 372-396 p.
Keyword [en]
Satisfaction, Frontline employee, Encounter experience, Eye gaze, Social impression
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41915DOI: 10.1108/IJRDM-03-2015-0034ISI: 000381914700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41915DiVA: diva2:923027
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-10-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Changing the servicescape: The influence of music, self-disclosure and eye gaze on service encounter experience and approach-avoidance behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing the servicescape: The influence of music, self-disclosure and eye gaze on service encounter experience and approach-avoidance behavior
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and understand the effect of a servicescape’s ambient and social conditions on consumers’ service encounter experience and their approach/avoidance behavior in a retail context. In three papers, with a total sample of over 1600 participants (including 550 actual consumers) and seven experiments, the author investigates the effect of music (ambient stimuli), employees’ self-disclosure (verbal social stimuli) and employees’ gazing behavior (nonverbal social stimuli) on consumers’ service encounter experience and approach/avoidance behavior in a retail store.

Paper I comprised two experiments, and the aim was to investigate the influence of music on emotions, approach/avoidance behavior. Paper II comprised two experiments, and the aim was to investigate the effect of frontline employees’ personal self-disclosure on consumers’ reciprocal behavior. Paper III comprised three experiments, and the aim was to investigate the influence of employee’s direct eye gaze/ averted eye gaze on consumer emotions, social impression of the frontline employee and encounter satisfaction in different purchase situations.

The results in this thesis show that music affects consumers in both positive and negative ways (Paper I). Self-disclosure affects consumers negatively, in such a way that it decreases encounter satisfaction  (Paper II) and, finally, eye gaze affects consumers by regulating both positively – and in some cases also negatively – consumers’ social impression of the frontline employee and their encounter satisfaction (Paper III).

The conclusions of this thesis are that both ambient and social stimuli in a servicescape affect consumers’ internal responses, which in turn affect their behavior. Depending on the purchase situation, type of retail, and stimuli, the internal and behavioral responses are different.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and understand the effect of a servicescape’s ambient and social conditions on consumers’ service encounter experience and their approach/avoidance behavior in a retail context. In three papers, with a total sample of over 1600 participants (including 550 actual consumers) and seven experiments, the author investigates the effect of music, employees’ self-disclosure and employees’ gazing behavior on consumers’ service encounter experience and approach/avoidance behavior in a retail store.

The results in this thesis show that music affects consumers in both positive and negative ways (Paper I). Self-disclosure affects consumers negatively, in such a way that it decreases encounter satisfaction (Paper II) and, finally, eye gaze affects consumers by regulating both positively – and in some cases also negatively – consumers’ social impression of the frontline employee and their encounter satisfaction (Paper III).

The conclusions of this thesis are that both ambient and social stimuli in a servicescape affect consumers’ internal responses, which in turn affect their behavior. Depending on the purchase situation, type of retail, and stimuli, the internal and behavioral responses are different.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:39
Keyword
Servicescape, Approach/Avoidance, Emotions, Social impression, Consumer behavior, Encounter experience, Music, Self-disclosure, Eye gaze, Retail
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-46417 (URN)978-91-7063-722-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-09, 11 D 227, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-21 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2016-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Andersson K, PernilleWästlund, ErikKristensson, Per
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