Queueing (Queue Psychology)

Little's Law (1960s) = the number of customers in any line is equivalent to their rate of arrival, not about by how long they take to pass through the system.
On the other hand, customers seeing a short queue assume that it shows good planning. A very long single queue can look daunting. Yet if there are multiple staff servicing the single queue: this could mean that the line moves very quickly.
It has been found that having lots of short queues for individual service points can be a mistake. This is partly due to creating logistical logjams like when one service point is disrupted, the whole line behind can be blocked. Multiple queues also create customer choice. But the option of selecting a line can create uncertainty, stress and competitive anger; customers get upset watching others get ahead of them. While in a single queue, any delays get distributed across the entire system. If a single queue is the only option, customers are less concerned as they know others will not get in front of them unfairly and no line choice is required.

"...a single long line is the fairest way to get everyone out of there as fast as possible..."
Richard Larson as quoted by Gillian Tett 2018

Sometimes customers can purchase privilege accessed by paying a higher price, like at airports with different tickets. This is generally acceptable as long as the system of getting privilege is transparent and consistent.

Queueing is a case where people want less choice, as choice can be stressful.
"... People find it reassuring when there is a sense of fairness, a feeling of progress (however tiny), clear signposts, and even a collective spirit of suffering......a sense of centrally managed order is often seen as preferable than unfettered choice and competition..."
Richard Larson as quoted by Gillian Tett 2018

If a queue is arranged like a snake, there is the illusion of constant progress!!!!

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