Escape rooms in Los Angeles are a great way to create memorable, fun moments with friends and family. They’re also a great way to practice teamwork and problem-solving skills—skills that can help you succeed in the real world.

That’s why it’s so important to understand what psychology makes an escape room successful. At their heart, escape rooms are about problem-solving: solving puzzles, finding hidden clues and objects, figuring out the next step. With this in mind, here are some of the most common psychological elements that go into making a successful escape room.

1) The human need for certainty and control

The human need for certainty and control is the first element of psychology used in escape rooms. It’s human nature to want a set answer and have complete control over our situation, but this is what makes escape rooms so challenging. The uncertainty and feeling of being out of control is what makes the game so exciting for many people who play it! If you know this going into an escape room, it will help keep your head clear and focused on the task at hand.

2) The human need for a sense of competence (ability to learn and develop skills)

Escape rooms offer us an opportunity to work on our ability to solve problems in an environment where there is no penalty for failure other than a little time. This is important because it gives us the chance to learn and develop without fear of failure. It’s also important because solving puzzles makes us feel smart, which makes us feel good about ourselves.

3) The human need for relatedness (the desire to feel close to other people)

Escape rooms are booming in popularity, but there is little understanding of why people play them. A new study of online surveys and interviews found that people play escape rooms because they provide a rare opportunity to work closely with others and feel an important part of the group.

“Escape rooms are designed for teams of players to collaborate and communicate as they solve puzzles and riddles,” says author Michael Rios, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. “This makes them ideal for exploring how humans need relatedness — the desire to feel close to other people.”

The researchers recruited participants from an escape room website forum and interviewed 10 players with various levels of experience, ranging from first-timers to those who had played more than 100 times. The researchers also surveyed 163 players about their experiences.

“Escape rooms allow people to fully focus on one another,” says co-author Adam Earnheardt, chair of the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University in Ohio. “At home or in the office, our attention is often absorbed by digital devices like smartphones or email notifications.”

4) The human need for autonomy (the desire to be self-directed)

What was the most common reason participants gave for wanting to play an escape room? It was the need to feel self-directed, which accounted for 31 percent of ratings across all players.

The need for autonomy is the desire to be self-directed, and it’s a key part of what motivates us. When we don’t feel autonomous — when we feel controlled by others — we tend to feel unhappy, depressed and unmotivated. But when we feel autonomous, we are more likely to be satisfied with our lives and engaged in our work.

In this study, being self-directed meant being in charge of your own choices and decisions; it meant having a sense of agency over your own experiences. However, it’s worth noting that many physical and virtual escape rooms in Los Angeles require people to work together as teams rather than independently, so their actions may not technically be “self-directed.” Instead, they might be working together toward a shared goal or pursuing a common objective. This seems especially true in the case of “public” escape rooms, where strangers team up with one another — something that happens less often in private games.

The second most common reason participants gave for playing escape room games was relatedness — the need to feel close to other people.


If your business is selling escape rooms or another type of experience that combines excitement and fun with a serious learning experience, you have to make sure it’s psychologically compelling. People have short attention spans and will be quick to move on to do something else if the experience doesn’t deliver on their expectations. If the experience does deliver on their expectations, they still won’t stick around for an hour or more because there are better things to do. The bottom line is: if you want your customers to be successful—which means that they get more out of the experience than audio/video entertainment—you will need to ensure that your psychological elements are up to par.

If you live in Los Angeles and are looking for a well-designed escape room that contains all the psychological elements to excite you, you should visit Maze Rooms the best escape rooms in Los Angeles.