A psychologist’s study of gender-neutral restrooms and a study of the public’s acceptance of was the subject of a TEDxEvansStreet talk given in Florence, SC in September.
Michael Barbera, an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies, presented his thoughts in a talk titled, “Potty parity and the perception of shared restrooms,” on Sept. 21.
Barbera stumbled onto this topic when he saw two restrooms, one designated “female” and the other, combined “male” and “gender neutral.”
“I wasn’t sure if I was a part of a social experiment, but I went along with it. And I wasn’t willing to do the potty dance because of a sign,” Barbera told the crowd.
After researching the subject for behavioral insights regarding shared restrooms, Barbera found none, and decided to design research to test comfort levels, feelings and perception about inclusivity regarding the restroom placard framing.
“We tested people’s willingness to use and their comfort levels of separate restroom doors that were each labeled as a specific gender and gender-neutral,” he said. “Females weren’t likely to use the restroom that did not specifically mention their gender on the door.
“Then, there were the males,” he said. “We were extremely unlikely to explore another gender’s restroom.”
The research suggests an alternate restroom placard design based upon the perceptions of the participants. It also suggests acceptance by encouraging public restroom operators, business operators and policy makers to change the default restroom placard design to a design that is accepted by the majority of users and consumers.
“We know that we’re not willing to do the potty dance because of sign, but how likely are we to make judgments because of a sign? And since there isn’t a universal answer, is it possible to design an improved potty experience from the outside of the restroom door?” Barbera asked.
Several studies are underway to test the comfort and inclusivity of non-traditional bathroom placards within the LGBTQ community. Barbera Solutions will soon release the results of the subsequent studies.
To view the TEDxEvansStreet Parity, Perceptions, and the Restroom presentation video visit: https://youtu.be/lUfUMt7suaE
About Michael Barbera
Michael Barbera is an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies. He is a business psychologist who is involved in both practical and academic endeavors. His areas of practice are consumer behavior, consumer emotions, social psychology, decision-making, brand management, marketing, and long-term business strategies. Michael is currently employed as the CEO of Barbera Solutions. His clients can be found on the Fortune 50 list, ABC’s “Shark Tank” and Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing.” In 2015, the White House recognized Michael for his contributions to entrepreneurship. This work includes development and validation of consumer emotions, consumer behavior, product placement, consumer interaction and business growth strategies
Company Name: Barbera Solutions
Contact Person: Michael Barbera
Phone: (800) 584-8047 x700
State: North Carolina
Country: United States