Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Stowe Shoemaker

Number of Pages



The intent of the study was to explore if the focus group and the meetings industries can provide meeting environments that would be more conducive to communication and more productive. The concepts tested in this study are based in environmental psychology, or the study of how the physical environment affects individual and group behavior within the environment. Past studies have examined various ambient conditions and other aspects of the physical environment and their effects on retail environments. However, the characteristics that set services businesses apart from product marketing and retail businesses require new techniques to evaluate the effect of the physical environment on the people within the environment. This study proposed a new methodology for examining the effect of one of the ambient conditions, scent, in a services environment; The study was quasi-experimental, using a 2 x 2 factorial design. The two independent variables under study were the presence or absence of a pleasant ambient scent and the type of participant group, defined as either Tryer-Acceptors or Tryer-Rejecters of a particular slot machine game, as defined by the sponsor of the study, a gaming machine manufacturer. The experiment involved focus group participants spending fifteen minutes in the experimental environment. The time spent in the experimental environment was videotaped for content analysis of behaviors exhibited while in the treated/untreated room; Scent had a statistically significant effect on the social interaction behaviors exhibited by the participants. Specifically, the addition of the scent to the waiting room resulted in more social interaction behaviors than were exhibited in the unscented room; In contrast, the participant group type had a statistically significant effect on the Social Interaction and Affiliative Interactions behaviors exhibited and on the focus group output. The study offers evidence that a pleasant ambient scent can have a positive effect on the effectiveness of a meeting environment.


Affiliation; Ambient; Ambient Scent; Behaviors; Effects; Interactions; Scent; Social; Social Interactions

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

3788.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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