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Thread: Industrial psychology

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Industrial psychology

    Can anyone think of any examples they have come across of the application of industrial psychology?
    A notable one I remember was the way fast food chains deliberately designed seating that was slightly uncomfortable to encourage people to eat, leave, and make room for another.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    "Industrial Psycology" gone wrong... why do they put couches that are so comfortable in the Libraries here? Do they actually want us to go to sleep there?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Casinos are famous for Industrial Psych. The busy carpets affect your behavior somehow. There are no clocks of course. They play the right music to get you to stay and spend, etc.

    Department stores and supermarkets are laid out in ways which maximize your chances of bumping into the right product at the right time - complete with junk food at the checkout line so your brats can demand it.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    Casinos are famous for Industrial Psych. The busy carpets affect your behavior somehow. There are no clocks of course. They play the right music to get you to stay and spend, etc.
    I also heard casinos make the exits hard to find, make sure booze is cheap or even free.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    How about loud music played in restaurant chains (TGIF is a good example)? I heard that it makes people eat faster and leave sooner.

    People will buy things from aisle endcaps because they assume it is on sale.

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by kms
    How about loud music played in restaurant chains (TGIF is a good example)?
    Yes.. TGIF is a good example, except for that same reason I never go there.... But since they target the Yuppie market, they don't care about what I think.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally posted by kms
    People will buy things from aisle endcaps because they assume it is on sale.
    That is the example I was thinking of.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kms
    How about loud music played in restaurant chains (TGIF is a good example)? I heard that it makes people eat faster and leave sooner.
    I too have heard that some restaurants will play loud music to get you to leave, but I always questioned the wisdom behind it. They must tread a pretty fine line...if one leaves the restaurant without quite knowing why, but having a vague unpleasant association with the place, it occurs to me that people might not want to return.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    "Industrial Psycology" gone wrong... why do they put couches that are so comfortable in the Libraries here? Do they actually want us to go to sleep there?
    Off-topic:
    My alma mater had purple couches in the library. Top that for counter-productive!
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
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    Fancy car dealerships with espresso and classical music, dealers who call you ma'am instead of your first name, all very understated, to lull you into thinking you can actually afford the car you were test-driving for fun and, in fact, deserve it as much as that fine Italian espresso you're enjoying.
    Bookstores with coffee bars to encourage you to linger over a book, and then to buy the book whose pages you've bent and whose cover you've spilt cappucino on....
    Clothing stores do the endcap thing, too. Banana Republic and the Gap place all of their smaller accessory things near the register, to encourage impulse buying of socks and costume jewelery.
    I don't dream. I plan.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Plannerbabs
    Fancy car dealerships with espresso and classical music, dealers who call you ma'am instead of your first name, all very understated, to lull you into thinking you can actually afford the car you were test-driving for fun and, in fact, deserve it as much as that fine Italian espresso you're enjoying.
    That is an excellent observation, and one I have not heard of before. There's gotta be some other examples of businesses that cater to vanity and try to make one feel 'rich' and therefore want to spend $ to appear so.
    Do bridal shops do this? How do they play people?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Put your kid in the seat in the grocery cart and look at what is at eye-level/reach-level: all the sugar-coated cereals and all the salty snacks and all the candies.

    When you grocery shop, do you wind through the aisles, or do you go back and forth? Mrs. G's grocery list is always ordered to the aisles from entrance to check-out line (she very spatial, and special too ). My list is random, but I follow her route and pick off targets of opportunity.
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    That is an excellent observation, and one I have not heard of before. There's gotta be some other examples of businesses that cater to vanity and try to make one feel 'rich' and therefore want to spend $ to appear so.
    Do bridal shops do this? How do they play people?
    Why, thank you.

    Bridal shops buy into that whole "This is your day, you're the princess" mythology that leaves out the poor groom. They fuss and pamper and flatter, all the while doing the hard sell on these $3500 dresses that you will wear for, at most, 8 hours one day. I could not leave quickly enough. Whether it's the Bridal Superstore or Saks, the overall treatment is pretty much the same, but Saks has nicer dressing rooms. No espresso, either. And then they try to load you up on accessories, like crowns and stuff. Ick ick ick.
    I don't dream. I plan.

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    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I'm convinced that when big chain restaurants have hour long waits and a tiny waiting area that seats 5 people it creates a type of "demand" where the brand is more valuable in the public eye. They could have larger dining or waiting areas. Some people get impatient and leave, but in general the public is stuck with the impression that this place is good because there is such a wait - just like the restaurants rich people go to. Just my conspiracy theory of the day.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I know some gas stations will place the cheap gas as the middle option hoping that people mindlessly pick the one on the end.

    As I am fairly absent-minded, I try to avoid these.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    I'm convinced that when big chain restaurants have hour long waits and a tiny waiting area that seats 5 people it creates a type of "demand" where the brand is more valuable in the public eye. They could have larger dining or waiting areas. Some people get impatient and leave, but in general the public is stuck with the impression that this place is good because there is such a wait - just like the restaurants rich people go to. Just my conspiracy theory of the day.
    Club 54 in New York must have pioneered the concept. Create even the appearance of high demand and you create real demand (dang, what's everyone waiting in line for? Must be pretty good for everyone to want to wait for it...)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I too have heard that some restaurants will play loud music to get you to leave, but I always questioned the wisdom behind it. They must tread a pretty fine line...if one leaves the restaurant without quite knowing why, but having a vague unpleasant association with the place, it occurs to me that people might not want to return.
    That's just it - but do people have an unpleasant association? The music, and the resulting loudness (table clatter, loud conversation) bother me, and I won't sit near a speaker. To some people it must sound like a lively, fun place. I'm sure the music and volume are carefully selected. I guess that's where the psychology part comes in.

    My own industrial psychology - turn up the heat in meeting rooms to make the meeting finish sooner.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    I will give you an example that uses an INDUSTRIAL setting:

    At my distribution center we have a significant number of orders that require value-added processing. We are attaching labels or bar codes to certain products. We are decorating products with logos specific to our customers. We are re-packaging items to accomodate the way our customer wants to receive them.

    In the operations that just require people, with no machines, to do the work.....the pace is set by the people. We do have published "expected" rates and supervisors to monitor our adherence to same....but, people tend to work at a pace that they are comfortable at and it often doesn't meet our expectations.

    When I buy machinery to automate the processes the first thing I look at is if that machine will "set" a pace. It ain't psychology but it does the same as the examples given in this thread: Move 'em through as fast as possible. In this case, we are moving product not people.

    Supervisor quotes to me usually include: "I've got the machine setting the pace."

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    Here's a page out of my responsible parenting handbook that is somewhat related...

    ...occassionally, the TV needs to be used as a parenting device (need to get some work done, extracurricular activities with my better half, go to the grocery store , etc.)...

    ... I pop in a popular DVD (Baby Einstein, The Lion King, Veggie Tales) and make sure the volume is pretty loud. Turning the volume up just a tad makes sure that it continues to attract their attention even after their short attention spans wander.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    ... I pop in a popular DVD (Baby Einstein, The Lion King, Veggie Tales) and make sure the volume is pretty loud. Turning the volume up just a tad makes sure that it continues to attract their attention even after their short attention spans wander.

    But if you turn the volume down low, they have to keep still and quiet to hear the program....add a warm blanket, and the kids just might fall asleep.......

  21. #21
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Back when industrial psychology was a new field (I think the 20's), a study was done in a Bell Industries switchboard. The room was given more light and given a new coat of paint (sort of a deep jade green). Productivity went way up, and work places were given more windows and green paint. (That's why you see so many hospital green hospitals and other interiors).

    Years later, a researcher did the opposite. He darkened down the room and used non-green paint. Productivity increased.

    It turned out the key factor was that the surevees knew they were being studied, appreciated the attention from upper management, and wanted to do well while being evaluated.

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    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Ice in soda.

    Pack it full of Ice, charge for the full volume of soft drink, and rake in a Massive1,000 percent profit on the cost.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

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    Cyburbian Achernar's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    Ice in soda.

    Pack it full of Ice, charge for the full volume of soft drink, and rake in a Massive1,000 percent profit on the cost.
    I don't know.... Fountain soda is almost as cheap as water. They do make a huge profit off it, but they don't need ice for that!

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    I read somewhere that the Cracker Barrel restaurants make people wait unneccessarily long so that they browse their giftshop of cornball country kitsch and buy something. My own experiences have reinforced that, when I've had to wait only to find many empty tables in the dining room. Otherwise, my taste for Cracker Barrel food is on my list of guilty pleasures.

    The display areas of IKEA stores are a marketing phenomenon I admire. You are led on a journey through all these model rooms displaying how their products are used. There are bypasses to shortcut the route, but they aren't easy to find.

    Studies in malls found that people tend to move to the right after entering and then circulate in a counter-clockwise direction.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    I'm convinced that when big chain restaurants have hour long waits and a tiny waiting area that seats 5 people it creates a type of "demand" where the brand is more valuable in the public eye. They could have larger dining or waiting areas. Some people get impatient and leave, but in general the public is stuck with the impression that this place is good because there is such a wait - just like the restaurants rich people go to. Just my conspiracy theory of the day.
    Most of these chain restaurants are aiming to create an entire dining "experience." The Rain Forest Cafe is a good example. Even though the food is basically just OK and overpriced, people are paying for the atmosphere (waterfalls & aquariums, etc). Perhaps this is to keep the kiddos entertained?

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