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Thinking of Fast Food Affects Non-Food Experiences (02-10-14)

Being reminded of fast food, for example, by seeing related signs/packages or walking by fast food restaurants, affects non-food experiences.  House and his team leaned that “exposure to fast-food [reminders] impeded [study] participants’ ability to derive happiness from pictures of natural beauty. . . . [seeing reminders of fast foods] undermined positive emotional responses to a beautiful melody by inducing greater impatience. . . .

Happiness and Time Left (02-07-14)

Research completed at Wharton can help designers interpret information they collect during programming research as well as determine appropriate rewards for their own employees.  Mogilner and Bhattacharjee learned that “age — particularly the contrasts between people hovering above or below the mid-30s mark — played a key role in what made individuals happy. . . .

Blue Light Increases Alertness All Day (02-06-14)

Research has clearly demonstrated that exposure to blue light at night makes people more alert.  New research by Rahman and his team found that the same effects are found with daytime exposure to blue light.  The blue light tested was 460 nm and its effects were compared to those of green light (555 nm). Study participants experienced one or the other for 6.5 hours in the middle of a 16-hour period of being awake.  This experience with the blue light, to be specific “significantly improved auditory reaction time . . . and reduced attentional lapses . . .

Feeling Powerless Influences Physical Experiences (02-05-14)

When people feel powerless, they experience the physical world differently from people who don’t feel powerless.  Lee and Schnall found that “people who feel powerless actually see the world differently, and find a task to be more physically challenging than those with a greater sense of personal and social power.”

 This finding may help researchers understand nuances of data they collect during the design process.

Overcoming Via Virtual Reality (02-04-14)

A European research team has developed a virtual reality program to help airplane passengers overcome some of the unpleasant situations they encounter while flying, such as having to sit close to strangers and not having much control over their physical environment. The Europeans “investigate[d] how flight journeys can be made into a more pleasant experience using Virtual Reality. . . . [the team] develop[ed] an airplane cabin in which test subjects can immerse themselves in their own preferred personal environment. . . .