Human and spatial dimensions of retail density: Revisiting the role of perceived control

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Abstract

Previous research in environmental psychology and consumer behavior has demonstrated mostly negative effects of human density on consumer experience in retail settings. The effects of spatial density, however, have received scant attention. Results from previous studies show that retail density affects shoppers' emotional and behavioral responses through perceived control.Work in social psychology, however, indicates that there are differences in the extent to which people strive for control, suggesting that having control in retail settings may be more important to some consumers than to others. In the experimental study reported in this paper, the effects of both forms of retail density were studied as a function of consumers' desire for control. Results indicate that the effects of human and spatial density vary with consumers' desire for control. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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