Lost in the Shopping Center

You go to the mall to buy one pair of jeans and leave with your jeans plus new shoes, a pretzel, and a couple of magazines. Sound familiar? Watch Marc Fennell of Hungry Beast explain how store design can encourage impulse buying — and why Ikea shoppers in particular tend to overbuy.

According to Alan Penn of University College London, Ikea really is designed like a maze. You can read more about Penn’s research from Daily Mail and the Telegraph. If you’re looking for tips on orienting yourself and escaping from maze-like buildings, Laura A. Carlson’s article on orientation and architecture published in Current Directions in Psychological Science offers tips for navigating in new environments.


APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.