The Influence of Ambiance on Emotions

Our surroundings influence our emotions. Consumatics, a consumer research company specialized in subconscious behaviour, has used our newest product Vicar Analytics for a very interesting experiment. In this blog post, we briefly present the results that they have nicely reported here in Dutch.

At the Innovation Lab on the Horecava 2018, a large event for professionals in the restaurant and hotel business, Consumatics created seven environments with a different ambiance. By changing the smell, music, and lighting they created an area with, for example, a nature, lovesick or masculine ambiance. Vicar Analytics then measured the emotions and the behavior of visitors in each environment. Vicar Analytics can give real-time anonymous customer analytics and measures gender, age, viewing time, and seven basic emotions.


More disgust in a lovesick environment

In the luxurious ambiance, with jazz music, leather smell, and purple lighting people were expressing the most happiness. This matches with research that shows that jazz music evokes a joyful feeling. The lovesick area (sad music about heartbreak, dark blue lighting, and heavy smell) was able to elicit a negative emotion; here visitors showed the most disgust. The least amount of fear was found in the masculine ambiance (hip-hop music, light blue, masculine smell). Men looked happier in this setting than women did, showing that this ambiance indeed seems to work better for men. Lastly, they introduced a Christmas setting, but the holiday season was already over. This clearly evoked feelings of surprise in people.

Some other interesting findings

There were also some other interesting gender differences. Women in general, looked 15% happier and 17% more surprised than men did. In addition, men looked 31% more angry. Women were generally more influenced by the ambiances and showed more expressions in several settings. To conclude, the insights obtained in this exciting experiment are very useful. They can help fine-tune your environment to elicit the right emotions and attract the right target audience. Are you interested in finding out what your store does to the emotions of your audience, just contact us at Vicar Analytics.