An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People’s Behaviour in an Open Public Space

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Aletta, F. ; Lepore, F. ; Kostara-Konstantinou, E. ; Kang, J. ; Astolfi, A. (2016)
  • Publisher: MDPI

Several studies have investigated how environmental sounds and music can modulate\ud people’s behaviours, particularly in marketing research. However, there are relatively few examples\ud of research about such relationships with a focus on the management of urban public spaces.\ud The current study investigated an open public space used mainly as a pedestrian crossing to analyse\ud the relationship between the audio stimuli and peoples’ behaviours. An experiment relying on\ud covert behavioural observation was performed. During the experiment, three different music stimuli\ud and a control condition (i.e., no music) were reproduced in order to find out firstly whether music\ud compared to no music could elicit an increase in the number of people stopping in the investigated\ud area, and secondly whether music is associated with a longer duration of stay for those who stop.\ud Results showed that the presence of music had no effect on the number of people stopping in the area,\ud but it had a statistically significant effect on the duration of stay for those who stopped. The above\ud findings support the idea that people felt more invited to stay in the area with music rather than with\ud no music, and suggest that the acoustical manipulation of the existing sound environment could\ud provide soundscape strategies capable of promoting social cohesion in public spaces.
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