| Effects of Music: Does the Type of Music
Influence How Much We Spend at Restaurants?
Music can be soothing and make us feel happy. But does music influence how much we spend at restaurants? This is one of the important questions concerning the possible effects of music.
North, Shilcock, and Hargreaves (2003) investigated the influence of the type music on spending behavior at a restaurant. The participants were customers at a restaurant, and they did not know that they were in an experiment. Each participant at the restaurant listened to either classical music, pop music, or no music. They found that the mean total amount of money spent at the restaurant was greater for people who listened to classical music than for people who listened to pop music or no music. The difference between the pop music group and the no music group was not statistically significant with respect to the mean total amount of money spent at the restaurant.(1)
One of the explanantions they provided for the findings involved the idea that classical music fosters an upmarket (upscale) atmosphere.
1. The analyses comparing the groups controlled for the amount of time spent in the restaurant. See their article for other findings.
North, A. C., Shilcock, A., & Hargreaves, D.J. (2003). The effect of
musical style on restaurant customers' spending. Environment and
Behavior, 35, 712-718.