The stimulus-organism-response approach to the overcrowding problem: Qualitative evidence from theme park visitors

Dogru-Dastan H., YILMAZ B. S.

JOURNAL OF LEISURE RESEARCH, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00222216.2023.2225050
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Increasing demand for theme parks combined with their limited resources have made overcrowding a significant concern for the leisure industry's major suppliers. An exploratory study was conducted to analyze affectivity, cognitive and behavioral responses to overcrowding, and moderating variables influencing the link between overcrowding and negative affectivity in the context of theme park visits. Data were gathered from in-depth interviews with 35 participants who visited theme parks located in Florida. The study findings are presented in three phases. First, the crowding perceptions of the participants result in negative affectivity, including annoyance, constraint, and tiredness. Second, negative affectivity leads to five categories of cognitive and behavioral responses. Third, the paper reports moderating factors of the relationship between overcrowding and negative affectivity in four categories: personal, situational, social, and trip-related. This study proposes a theoretical framework embracing the multiple aspects of overcrowding based on the stimulus-organism-response framework.