Massara, Francesco and Porcheddu, Daniele and Melara, Robert D. (2014) Asymmetric perception of sparse shelves in retail displays. Journal of Retailing, Vol. 90 (3), p. 321-331. ISSN 0022-4359. Article.
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We investigated a perceptual bias in recognizing partially stocked shelves in retail displays. Across a series of experiments, a total of 475 right-handed participants were asked to discriminate between pairs of store displays that were more versus less stocked with items. When asked to identify the sparser display in a sterile environment, participants were significantly faster and more accurate in responding to images presented in the left visual field (LVF) than to images presented in the right visual field (RVF). The perceptual asymmetry persisted in a realistic setting, and was prominent under conditions of high task difficulty. The results are consistent with a view of this sparse-shelf bias as emerging from selective hemispheric activation to quantities rapidly assessed during a shopping trip.
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