Date of Award

5-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behaviorally-based intervention that emphasizes psychological processes related to mindfulness, values, committed actions towards values, defusion from troubling thoughts, and acceptance. ACT is often used with populations who experience psychological inflexibility or stress, but not much research has been done understanding how ACT processes may affect everyday tasks within the common public or within business practices. The present study used a randomized controlled trial to determine the effect that statements related to ACT processes given while receiving a bar tending service altered the outcome tipping percentage from guests. The current research also discussed how each statement used relates back to the various components of ACT. The current study suggests a potential way to increase tips that a bartender or server can receive by providing a simple ACT-based statement to their customers while still maintaining an inviting and friendly environment for entertainment. Results of this study indicated that the use of mindfulness statements was statistically significant, t(53) = 1.68, p < .098. While one of the six prepared and randomized mindfulness statements, “It’s it a nice night for a drink?” used was statistically significant in increasing tip revenue when compared to all other mindfulness statements used and the low-quality control statements used in a one-way ANOVA analysis, F(6, 48) = 1.799, p = .11. Results of this study were not significant for a t-test comparing statements and total tip value received compared to total bill amount t(5) = 0.887, p < .378. Additionally, results of a two-way ANOVA comparing male and female and tip value also displayed no statistical significance F(1, 51) = 0.051, p = .82, F(1, 51) = 1.106, p = .29, with no significant interaction, F(1, 51) = 2.467, p = .12. Lastly, a two-way ANOVA comparing male and female and total tip value received compared to total bill amount displayed no significance as well F(1, 51) = 0.448, p = .50, F(1, 51) = 1.439, p = .23, with no significant interaction F(1, 51) = 0.693, p = .40. Organizational behavior management (OBM) is an area of behavior intervention ripe for ACT research. Future OBM research could extend upon by incorporating the use of ACT, or ACT related processes into everyday business models and behaviors.

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