Nina Krey (Rowan University, New Jersey)
The physical store environment is an essential factor that contributes to the overall shopping experience of consumers (Babin and Darden 1995). Specifically, consumer behavioral outcomes are shaped by elements within retail environments that can evoke emotional responses (e.g., Chaudhuri and Ligas 2009; Dawson, Bloch, and Ridgway 1990; Matilla and Wirtz 2001). The Classical Environment Model by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) incorporates a primary emotional response that can be classified as pleasure, arousal, or dominance (PAD). The PAD dimensions are assessed with an 18-item semantic differential scale covering emotional response ranges, including happy-unhappy, stimulated-relaxed, and dominant-submissive responses. Considering the vast application of PAD in the retail literature, the overall goal of this research is to better understand the impact of PAD on atmospheric research. Furthermore, this assessment also tries to clarify which dimensions are most commonly applied in atmospheric studies and most strongly relates to outcome variables.
A meta-analytical approach was implemented to address the proposed research questions. The scope of the meta-analysis was limited to articles published in the Journal of Retailing. In total, 341 articles were reviewed with the final sample consisting of 15 articles and 33 studies. The total sample size was 3,366 consumers. Results provide evidence that emotions have a significant influence on commonly used outcome measures in retail environment studies. Preliminary contributions of this research confirm stable relationships between pleasure as well as arousal dimensions. Overall, the effect size for pleasure is substantially larger across all analyses. However, the effect size for arousal is larger for attitudinal outcome measures, which contradicts previous findings by Donovan and Rossiter (1982). Further research is needed to validate these findings across different journals and contexts.