An Exploratory Study of Interpersonal Distances and Perceived Spaciousness and Crowding in Four Shopping Malls Across Two Cultures

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Title: An Exploratory Study of Interpersonal Distances and Perceived Spaciousness and Crowding in Four Shopping Malls Across Two Cultures
Author: Ozdemir, Aydin
Advisors: Fatih Rifki, Committee Chair
Abstract: This study is an exploratory and descriptive study of shopping malls in two cultures. The purpose of this dissertation is twofold: (1) to explore and describe the conditions of malls relevant to people's perception of space and their interactions with others; and (2) to investigate the relationship between variables such as type of perceived enclosure, density and lighting, and perceived spaciousness and crowding, and interpersonal distance. Four shopping malls in Turkey and the United States were selected for case studies. Based on users' subjective responses to openness and closeness, two areas inside each mall were defined where interviews and observations were conducted. During interviews, respondents were asked to rate the spaciousness and crowdedness of the open and closed areas. Density and lighting conditions of each area were measured. Total of 337 people responded to the questionnaires. Observations were employed with time-lapse photography technique to measure interpersonal distances between users in the areas where interviews took place. Total of 3072 distance measurements were made in all cases. The relationships between variables were tested by Spearman's correlation coefficients. Most of the analysis included descriptions with percentages. It was intended to develop hypotheses for the benefit of future research. The results were compared across two cultures and discussed in relation to the defined and measured conditions of mall areas. The description of the mall characteristics pointed to the both similarities and differences among layout, location, frequency and time of visit, activities, and users' definitions of areas. Overall comparisons and descriptions provided evidence about cross-cultural difference in interpersonal distance and perception of crowding, but not in perception of spaciousness. Most of the users in all cases perceived the areas spacious. Turkish mall users felt more crowded than American mall users, pairs in Turkish malls interacted closer than those in American malls, and male-female pairs interacted closer than male-male and female-female pairs.
Date: 2006-06-07
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Design
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5416


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