design psychology

We All Lip Read (09-26-14)

Plass and colleagues report that all humans lip read to understand speech.  As the researchers report, this “facilitate[s] auditory perception of the corresponding spoken words.”  This finding supports making sure spaces where people are expected to socialize can support lip reading, via appropriate lighting levels, glare elimination, and furniture arrangements, for example.

Gardens and Dementia (09-25-14)

Whear and her fellow researchers conducted a literature review of studies dealing with dementia among people living in care homes and time spent in gardens.  More specifically they “examine[d] the impact of gardens and outdoor spaces on the mental and physical well-being of people with dementia who are resident in care homes and [to] understand the views of people with dementia, their carers, and care home staff on the value of gardens and outdoor spaces.”  They found “promising impacts on levels of agitation in care home residents with dementia who spend time in a garden.”&n

Smart Meters May Not Make People Happy (09-24-14)

Although smart meters can “help individuals monitor and reduce their energy usage,” they may lead to negative social situations.  As Leygue and her colleagues report, “In a situation where one person used more than their fair share of energy, displays showing the average amount of usage in the house were associated with feelings of guilt and fear and a decrease in intention to use energy.

Color-Shape Associations (09-23-14)

Chen and colleagues have identified associations between shapes and colors consistent with those unearthed in a 2013 study by Albertazzi and associates.  Chen’s research was done with Japanese people and Albertazzi’s with Italians.  As Chen and her co-workers report “The warm colors (e.g., RR [red] and YR [colors between yellow and red such as orange]) tended to be associated with the warm [bordered by curved lines] shapes (e.g., circle and oval), and cold colors (e.g., RB [colors between red and blue, such as purple], BB [blue], and BG [colors between blue and green]) tended to b

Telecommuting Ups Performance and Better for Some Than Others (09-22-14)

A study that will soon be published in Personnel Psychology, conducted by Gajendran, Harrison, and Delaney-Klinger, determined that telecommuting enhances performance overall and for some individuals more than others.  Many current workplace design strategies require sets of employees to telecommute to work, at least occasionally.  The researchers learned that “telecommuting is positively associated with improvements in task- and context-based performance, which refers to an employee’s organizational citizenship behavior, including their contributions toward creating a po

You See More Than You Realize (09-19-14)

Cacciamani’s doctoral work at the University of Arizona indicates that your eyes aren’t telling you the whole story of what’s in the world around you.  Cacciamani’s research, published in Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, determined that “objects in our visual environment needn’t be seen in order to impact decision making.”  As a press release from the University of Arizona states, “Take a look around, and what do you see? Much more than you think you do, thanks to your finely tuned mind's eye, which processes images without your even knowing. .

Feelings About Art (09-18-14)

Research by Newman, Bartels, and Smith sheds light on why we become so attached to artworks.  They learned that “art objects are seen as physical extensions of their creators.” A press release issued by Topics in Cognitive Science, quotes study author Newman: "’One prediction that comes out of this idea is that artwork that seems like it has really had a lot of close physical contact with the artist, i.e., you can see evidence of his or her 'hand,' may be preferred to art where that direct physical connection is less obvious.’”

Youth Obesity and Access to Nature in Different Forms (09-17-14)

Researchers have learned that youth are more likely to exercise in certain sorts of outdoor environments than others.  Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider found via a study that was published in Preventative Medicine that “cities with more nature trails have higher levels of youth activity and lower youth obesity. . . . increased access to non-motorized nature trails is associated with increased youth physical activity and lower levels of youth obesity, while increased access to nature preserves was associated with lower levels of physical activity.

Networking and Feeling Clean (09-16-14)

Networking can make some people feel dirty according to a study that will soon be published in Administrative Science Quarterly.  Researchers have found that “Professional networking can create feelings of moral impurity and physical dirtiness.” This finding supports including, for example, materials that are less likely to show dirt in areas where people will be networking as well as lots of bathrooms (for hand washing).