Owing to variations that existed previously on the number of tips given by different hotel customers; depending on whether the serving waiter showed gratitude by writing thank you on the back of checks or smiling when presenting such checks, researchers conducted this research to ascertain impacts resulting from drawing of smiling faces on the back of the checks. In addition, researchers conducted this investigation to ascertain differences that might occur when individuals of different sexes presented to customers checks, which had smiling faces drawn on their backs.
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This is to say, the second experimental goal was to determine different individuals’ perceptions as pertains to some acts that they consider appropriate for female servers and not appropriate for male servers. Generally, the experiment was to contrast variations in terms of tips that waiters were to receive by presenting checks with or without smiling faces drawn on the back of such checks, depending on the sex of the waiter (Rind & Bordia, 1996, p. 1).
Independent and Dependent Variables
Because the researchers’ main aim was to determine influences that smiling faces drawn on the back of the checks had on the number of tips offered by the customers depending on the sex of the attendant, the dependent variable is the amount of tip that each customer was to offer. On the other hand, because the amount of tip depended on who presented the check and whether the check had a smiling face drawn on it, the independent variables were the drawing of a smiling and happy face, which some checks were supposed to have, and the sex of the attendant. It is important to note here that any factor under investigation never alters the independent variable, but rather its effects determine the nature of the outcome.
The participants of the research were members of the temple university fraternity, which comprised of the faculty, students, other university workers, and two restaurant attendants; one male and another a female whose age range was in the mid-twenties. In number, the participants were one hundred and ninety-three, who comprised of eighty-nine parties that had taken their lunch in the eatery, in a time span of three days (Rind & Bordia, 1996, p. 220).
To achieve desired outcomes, the researchers conducted their research applying the following procedure. Firstly, the experiment was to take place within a time span of three days; Monday to Wednesday, whereby each server had to have fifty cards; some with the drawing of the smiling and happy face (twenty-five), and another bunch without the drawing (twenty-five also). To ensure there was even distribution of the cards; hence, ensure randomness, the two attendants had to mix the cards by reshuffling them. After doing all this, the second step was for the attendant to give the check to the party.
However, before presenting the check as rules dictated, they had to take pick a single card from their pockets randomly; hence, determining whether they were to sketch the smiling face or not on the back of the check that they were about to present. When presenting the check, the attendants had to ensure the drawing on the presented checks were visible to the party; hence necessitating the presentation of the check to be with the backside up.
To ensure there was no manipulation of results due to interactions between the dining party members and the presenter of the check, the attendants were to try to avoid any facial expressions that could suggest something to the dining party. Therefore, after presenting the check, the waiters had to leave the dining table immediately.
Finally, after the departure of the customers, the attendants recorded on specific picked cards the characteristics of the dining party, the amount of bill paid, and the amount of tip offered by the customers (Rind & Bordia, 1996, p. 220-221).
The experimental outcomes clearly depicted that the drawing of the picture had positive impacts as concerned tip giving by customers. Although this was the case, there were variations between the female server and the mail server because the female server’s tips increased by almost nineteen percent. Therefore, there was a clear indication that, adoption of these like a practice seems normal to the majority of individuals when done by females, a case which was contrary when male attendants did it. To women, the drawing of the picture enhances the nature of relationship that may exist while attending to customers’ needs, something that is the opposite when it comes to their male counterparts in the field.
On the other hand, from the research conclusions, the variability of tip proportions and the number relationship solely depended on the type of the tip’s value that the researchers used. This is because there was a negative correlation between the tip proportions and the number of parties per dining when researchers used un-corrected tip proportions. On the other hand, there was no correlation between the tip proportion and the parties per table when researchers used corrected tip amounts (Rind & Bordia, 1996, p. 223-224).
Researchers’ Explanation of the Results
From research results, researchers clearly illustrate that two factors play the primary role of determining the amount of tip offered by customers: incentives inform of smiles or a happy face and the sex of the waiter presenting the check.
In addition, researchers proved that, the correlation between the tip proportions and the dining party depended on the type of tip figure used in calculations; whether corrected or not.
Problems with the Study
Although the study examines two main factors that determine the amount of tips that different customers offer; the nature of incentive and sex of female server, it has some deficits. Some deficits of the research are; firstly, it fails to account for individual differences that may exist in these dining parties, hence the variation in amounts of tips offered. Secondly, this research study never takes into consideration the correlation that may exist between customer satisfaction, sex of the attendant, and the amount of tip given.
How to Fix the Problems
In order to fix the problems, there is need to train the waiters on mechanisms of interpreting customer characteristics; non-verbal cues, as concerns satisfaction. This because, customer satisfaction is one of the main determinants of the amount of tips given. Hence, in restructuring the experiment, waiters should present the checks to the customers but not leave immediately. That is they should take some time addressing customers’ needs although, they should maintain face neutrality.
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Because the research focuses on the perceptions that different individuals have as concerns activities that are correct depending on one’s sex, it falls under the field of social psychology. This is because the motives behind giving of tips by different individual vary depending on one’s characteristics and intentions. The fact that, different individuals have varying mechanisms and units of analysis supports this; hence, social psychology.
Rind, B., & Bordia, P. (1996). Effect on restaurant tipping of male and female servers Drawing a happy, smiling face on the back of customers’ checks. Journal of Social Psychology, 26(3), 218-225.