Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Ann E. Fairhurst

Committee Members

Youn-Kyung Kim, Rodney C. Runyan, E. Grady Bogue


The primary goal of retail environments is to stimulate positive behavior from consumers viewing the fulfilled plan of the designer or architect. This study explores the influence of the consumer trait, visual aesthetic sensitivity, upon the visual aesthetic design features of the store environment and consumer behavior. Treatment of the visual aesthetic design features of the retail environment as an integrated, holistic arrangement demonstrate the dynamic interrelation of the environment and perception as explained by Gestalt theory. Data was collected through traditional survey techniques. Statistical analyses using exploratory factor analysis, ANCOVA, and MANCOVA reveal distinct differences between consumers with high versus low visual aesthetic sensitivity in store environment evaluations and consumer behavior.

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