Knowledge of Deaths in Hotel Rooms Diminishes Perceived Value and Elicits Guest Aversion

Jesse M Bering, Emma R Curtin, Jonathan Jong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Guest deaths are an inevitable aspect of the hospitality industry. In Study 1, participants read a vignette in which the previous guest died of natural causes, suicide, or homicide. Those who learned of a death (a) saw the room as less valuable, (b) opted to stay in a more basic room in which no death occurred, despite both rooms being offered for free, and (c) anticipated feeling uneasy when imagining an overnight stay. In Study 2, we investigated the persistence of this bias. Perceived room value and anticipatory well-being can be expected to return to baseline levels only many years after the death event. Similar to "stigmatized properties" in real estate, these data confirm an irrational and recalcitrant cognitive bias surrounding consumers' views of death-affected hotel rooms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)286-312
    Number of pages27
    Issue number3
    Early online date4 Jun 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


    • decision-making
    • guest death
    • hotel
    • stigmatized properties
    • superstition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


    Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge of Deaths in Hotel Rooms Diminishes Perceived Value and Elicits Guest Aversion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this