April 22, 2024

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# Supermarket shopping, that's why our queue always seems longer

It is often our pessimistic perception that makes us believe that the queue at the supermarket checkout is much longer than others: results of a mathematical study

It is true that ours Queue at the exit When we go to do this Expenses Is it always the longest or is it just the “persecution” obsession that grips us? Statistically, the majority of consumers who line up at the checkout always think their queue is the slowest of all.

The delay is often because the customer is having difficulty dealing with it ATM card Or for that customer who forgot to buy something and left the bill pending to go and grab what he needed from the shelves. And what about those customers who slow down the line at the checkout because they pack their purchases with unbearable “phlegm.”

## Mathematical models applied to queuing systems

Few people know this exists Mathematics branch Who studies these cases carefully. Essentially in-depth study Dynamic statistical models of queuing systems Hence also the case Long queues at the supermarket. There is also a psychological element that leads us to believe that the queue we are standing in is the slowest of all.

We always choose which cash register to pay at, based on some considerations also related to the time factor. We might avoid those checkouts where waiting customers have carts full of shopping, thinking that times might take longer. Therefore, we give preference to checkouts where there are fewer people waiting or shopping carts are less full.

Our brain tends to process negative concepts more than positive ones. This situation inevitably leads us to believe that our queue is moving forward quickly, when more often than not we complain when we see other queues moving faster than ours. All of this is happening while we may have an old lady struggling to find the cents in her wallet to make a payment.

### What do the statistics say?

In fact it is only one Deceptive perception pure and simple. Analyzes by researchers on queuing theory have pinpointed the reasons why the supermarket queue always seems to be the slowest. It's clear and simple an opportunity. In fact, the probability of unexpected events or critical problems occurring in the payment system is the same in every queue. That often happens POS The cashier stumbles or gets into an argument with the customer and spends more time, perhaps talking about this and that.

Mathematically, it exists code nthe chance of finishing in the fastest queue is only possible 1/n. You may actually be able to catch the unlucky tail, but in most situations, it's just one tail Pessimistic psychological perception. Solving this problem is far from easy. Perhaps we can choose the solution you adopted Italian participation Or at airports, where there is only one queue and then the sorting takes place. Or who knows, other more effective solutions may not be found in the future.