Waiting on hold with an airline, cable provider or credit card company is a reliably irritating experience. So reliable, in fact, that researchers decided to study it—and might have come up with a fix. Playing pop music instead of instrumental elevator music may make callers less angry when someone finally answers, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Elevator music, with an easy-listening melody that can repeat endlessly, invokes a feeling of dread in many of us. “You learn to associate that kind of background music with waiting or complaining—those things that normally happen when you call a call center,” says study author Karen Niven, a lecturer at Manchester Business School in England. “When you have some pop music that you wouldn’t expect to hear, it doesn’t prime those same negative thoughts, it provides something of a buffer.”
Niven took control of the music at a…
View original post 276 more words