Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winter 2014, page 2

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Play That One Again: the Effect of Music Tempo
on Consumer Behaviour in a Restaurant

Clare Caldwell, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Sally A. Hibbert, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

ABSTRACT - The paper reports research into the effects of music tempo on consumer behaviour. A field experiment involving consumers dining at a restaurant was carried out to investigate the extent to which music tempo influences actual and perceived time spent dining and the amount of money spent. The results show that when slow music is playing, customers spend a significantly greater amount of time dining than when fast music is playing. There was some evidence that perceptions of time spent dining were influenced by the music, but not to a significant level. Finally, the music tempo was found to have a significant effect on money spent on both food and drink at the restaurant.

Clare Caldwell and Sally A. Hibbert (1999) ,"Play That One Again: the Effect of Music Tempo on Consumer Behaviour in a Restaurant", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 4, eds. Bernard Dubois, Tina M. Lowrey, and L. J. Shrum, Marc Vanhuele, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 58-62.

ACR Website link


Pensioners out of tune with loud music in shops

By Steve Hawkes, Consumer Affairs Editor

Millions of pensioners claim that they no longer feel at home in Britain because of the music played in high street shops, the clothing industry’s obsession with younger customers, and the small type used on forms. A study suggests that 40 per cent of pensioners feel the country has become a “playground for the young”. Loud music in shops is the biggest bugbear of the over-65s, with 61 per cent hating it. They also feel “alienated” by fashion being aimed at the young.

The research was commissioned by Barclays Bank, which is introducing “high visibility” debit cards and audio cash machines for customers with impaired or poor vision. Barclays said 40 per cent of the 1,095 pensioners

surveyed, the equivalent of 4.3 million in the UK as a whole, felt that Britain had become an “alien nation”. Other grumbles included younger people pushing past the elderly on stairs and large supermarket queues.

The findings follow a wave of surveys claiming the over-50s still feel young. Last year, the Department for Work and Pensions said 68 per cent of those over 75 would not classify themselves as old. Paul Green, a spokesman for Saga, said: “If Barclays are doing things that make it easier for older people, that is fantastic. But one of the things that annoy the older generation the most are... pointless surveys showing why old people should be displayed as curmudgeonly - that would be in the top 10.”

- The Telegraph


Chorus of complaints at ‘noisy’ opera

By Rosa Silverman, The Telegraph

An opera festival held in the grounds of a stately home has come under threat following noise complaints and claims that the music is only for “posh folk”. Winslow Hall, in Buckinghamshire, first played host to Stowe Opera last year with a production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in a marquee outside the 17-century Grade 1-listed mansion. This summer it hosted six performances of Bizet’s Carmen,

but rehearsals prompted several neighbours to complain to the local council. As a result, the hall’s owner, Chistopher Gilmour, fears for the festival’s future. Mr. Gilmour, the son of the late Tory Cabinet minister Lord Gilmour, said “a chorus of several residents” had voiced their objections. “What hurts most is that one of the most vehement complainants is a man who said he liked loud noise but only if it was from a rock concert,” he told the Daily Mail. “He didn’t care for opera, which he said was only for posh folk.”


Loud and fast music slows down the brain

By Dr. Victoria Williamson, Ohlogy’s scientist in residence

It has long been accepted that playing music in a commercial/work environment can have beneficial effects on a number of factors. There is evidence that playing background music can increase productivity (especially in monotonous jobs), boost positive well-being in the work place (and influence related factors such as number of sick days taken or work-related stress), and increase commercial outputs such as sales, shop entries, and positive customer feedback.

As such it is no surprise that music psychologists are often asked what might be the best music to play in shops, offices and other places of business. Of course, there is no simple answer to that question as it depends on many factors. But before even thinking about which music to play you should consider your volume levels. New evidence suggests that the volume of music can affect cognitive performance, specifically on our ability to take in written information. Reading is, of course, of paramount importance in work environments, but also for customers in...

continued on page 3...


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