Scientists have discovered why people behave irrationally in queues

© RIA Novosti / Evgeny to Epanchintseva in fotosensasi on the Desk at the International airport Kadala in ChitaScientists have discovered why people behave irrationally in queues© RIA Novosti / Evgeny to Epanchintseva the image Bank

. Observing the behavior of people in supermarkets have helped scientists figure out that the buyers begin to behave irrationally and to move between the queues, slowing their movement, due to the fact that they subconsciously don’t like being last, says the article, published in the journal SSRN.

«Wavering between the queues are absolute madness, like how many people are behind you, does not affect how fast you will pass one of them. However, this feature of the psyche affects the human behavior. As a rule, the penultimate person is contented approximately the last 20%,» says Ryan Buell (Ryan Buell) from Harvard University (USA).

In recent years, psychologists and many other scientists have been actively interested in how people behave in everyday situations, for example, when you select items in the store and while standing in line at the cashier. These observations revealed some interesting and unexpected things.

For example, Israeli scientists have discovered in the past year that people estimate the speed of the queue by the number of people or goods, guided by how much space they occupy on the ribbon of the goods or in line before the cashier. This often causes them to behave irrationally, choosing a «small» queue, which contains many small items.

Buell, and his colleagues revealed the origins of one type of irrational behavior in stores, watching how people behaved, standing in the actual queues in supermarkets and their virtual counterparts, which the researchers artificially created on the website of the polls.

As noted, Buell, and buyers, and the volunteers did not know that they are being observed by scientists. For example, in the second case they believed that participating in the poll which was supposed to last a minute, but was actually delayed for a much longer time.

When the volunteer went to the site, created by scientists, and type in your password and username, he got into a virtual «queue», which shows his position and the waiting time. If the user didn’t like his current place, he could get out of it and go to a new place, losing your current position.

These observations revealed an interesting effect – often did not the people who stood in the longest queue or slow, and those who were in last place in the line in which he or she originally was. For example, of the 72 customers who made the decision, 67 were in last place and the remaining 5 was the penultimate.

Such decisions in most cases, as found out by psychologists from Harvard, was irrational — these people averaged 10% more time at the cash register, the more patient the customers, even if they changed the queue only once. If throwing between customer flows was more the amount of lost time was even more significant.

The roots of such a strange behavior, as shown by the poll lay in human psychology. And volunteers, and buyers didn’t like to be the last, and their self-esteem and well-being were much lower in such cases than when they were in the middle of the queue.

As scientists assume, municipalities, restaurants, shops and other public places where there are often queues, can take advantage of their conclusions and to protect their customers from this discomfort, allowing them to serve more people or make more profit.