"Evolutionary Store Atmospherics" - Designing with evolution in mind

Yannick Joye, Karolien Poels, Kim Willems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Environmental psychology research shows that natural environments and natural habitat qualities are
better able to positively influence human functioning (e.g., stress reduction) than most common urban
environments. Such positive psychological states are often interpreted as remnants of our species'
evolutionary history in natural environments. Nowadays a substantial part of the urban fabric is dedicated to commercial and business-related activities. Such environments however often lack those natural habitat qualities and elements, which have been found to promote positive psychological states. This chapter aims to demonstrate and illustrate the value of integrating such natural qualities into business-related environments, and specifically into retail environments. We coin this design strategy "Evolutionary Store Atmospherics" (ESA). The scope of this chapter is theoretical as well as practical. On the one hand, we provide an overview of the specific "ancestral" landscape elements and qualities that can have positive effects on human functioning. On the other hand, we discuss and illustrate how these key qualities can be integrated in store environments. Special attention is paid to situational factors that could interact with ESA design proposals, such as, for example, gender and type of shopping.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutionary Psychology in the Business Science
EditorsGad Saad
Place of PublicationBerlin / Heidelberg
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-92783-9
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Gad Saad


  • Store atmospherics
  • Prospect-refuge theory
  • Preference matrix
  • Evolved aesthetic preferences
  • Stress reduction
  • Attention restoration
  • Retailing
  • Evolutionary psychology

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