Washington: Consumers seated in circular arrangements feel a greater need to belong than those seated in angular layouts, a new study has revealed.

According to the new study conducted by authors Rui Zhu of University of British Columbia and Jennifer J. Argo of University of Alberta, the geometric shape of a seating arrangement can impact consumers by priming one of two fundamental needs: a need to belong or a need to be unique.

In a series of studies, consumers were asked to sit in either a circular or an angular seating arrangement and were then asked to evaluate various advertisements.

Circular shaped seating arrangements led consumers to evaluate persuasive material more favorably when it conveyed belonging (family- or group-oriented, majority endorsement).

In contrast, consumers seated in an angular arrangement responded more favorably to persuasive material related to uniqueness (self-oriented, minority endorsement).

The authors concluded that circular shaped seating arrangements prime a need to belong while angular shaped seating arrangements prime a need to be unique.

It was also found that the shape of a seating arrangement, a subtle environmental cue, can activate fundamental human needs and these needs in turn affect consumer responses to persuasive messages.

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.


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