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Yao Laurel Xiao

DBA Graduate - 2019

Thesis title

The impact of classroom wall colors on the satisfaction and loyalty of private college students in British Columbia Canada

Supervisor(s)

Caroline Cuny
Purpose Color has been used extensively by marketers to enhance customer pleasure, shape customer perceptions (Labrecque & Milne, 2012; Lee, Noble, & Biswas, 2018) and change consumers’ purchase intentions and shopping behaviors (Babin, Hardesty, & Suter, 2003; Bellizzi & Hite, 1992). Our research aims at understanding the impact of classroom wall colors on student approach intentions, satisfaction and loyalty, and exploring the channels through which ambient colors affect students. Design/methodology/approach A field experiment was carried out in a private college in Western Canada. The walls in two identical classrooms were painted light blue and orange. The data was collected through a questionnaire completed by 113 students who took classes in the experimental rooms and analyzed using SPSS independent sample t-tests and regression analyses. Findings The research results suggest that students in the classroom with blue walls were more satisfied with the institution than students in the orange room. Despite the insignificant results from t-tests on other measures of students between the color conditions, the impact of classroom wall color on student loyalty was found to be mediated by student satisfaction with the institution. Moreover, the impact of pleasure on students’ willingness to spend time in the classroom was greater in the room with orange walls. The direct impact of pleasure on student satisfaction with the course and the indirect impact through the mediation of student evaluation of the course were also greater in the classroom with orange walls. Research limitations The difference in color saturation and value in the study brought in unexplained color effects, and the measurement of student responses can be improved by different methods than a questionnaire. Practical and social implications Color moderates the impact of pleasure on student approach intentions and satisfaction. Through careful selection of ambient colors and a wise combination of sensory stimuli, universities can create a pleasant classroom environment conducive to positive emotions, greater approach intentions, and higher student satisfaction. Originality/value Our research is the first study that uses a field experiment to examine the impact of classroom wall colors on the satisfaction and loyalty of college students. The models constructed in the thesis contribute to the current knowledge of the channels through which ambient colors affect student satisfaction and loyalty. Keywords Color, affective and cognitive responses, approach intentions, student satisfaction, student loyalty