Labeling influences whether energy-efficient products are purchased. Gromet, Kunreuther and Larrick learned that “When it comes to deciding which light bulb to buy, a label touting the product's environmental benefit may actually discourage politically conservative shoppers . . . .
Ziv and Doley studied ways to reduce playground bullying among 6th graders. They found that when calming, new age type music was played on playgrounds, children were bullied less by other children: “Results showed significantly reduced bullying occurrence, lower arousal levels, and higher enjoyment of recess when music was played. Bullying occurrence increased on the third week [when music was no longer played], though it remained lower than on the first week [when no music was played; music was only played during week 2].
Research by ophthalmologists indicates that when children spend time outdoors at recess, they are less likely to be nearsighted. As the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports, “when children are required to spend recess time outdoors, their risk of nearsightedness is reduced.” Design that encourages outdoor recess is important because nearsightedness is “near[ing] epidemic status in Asia and other regions, primarily in developed countries. In the United States nearsightedness has increased by more than 65 percent since 1970.
Burgh-Woodman and King investigated concern for the environment. They learned that “our concern for the environment is driven by an existing, historically embedded sense of human/nature connection rather than a concern for future decimation as typically thought.” Designers can apply this information when presenting alternatives to clients.
Knowledge workers sit too much. Research has shown that their sedentary habits are bad for their physical and mental well-being – but if workers have the opportunity to stand while working, will they?
Integrating information from a variety of reputable sources, freshome created an interesting infographic detailing important information about future homes. Economic and environmental concerns have launched a small home movement, for example, and the average new home is expected to be 10% smaller by 2015 than it is now. Increasing numbers of single-person households also support to this trend.
Research at Johns Hopkins Medical School indicates that our brains come complete with global positioning systems (GPS); these findings make it clearer why Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline make it hard for some people to find their way through designed environments. The Johns Hopkins team “found that as a rat travels randomly through the box without knowing where it needs to go, different combinations of place cells fire at each location along its path. The same set of cells fires every time the rat travels the same spot.
Research continues to pour in indicating that green spaces in urban environments are a good idea. White, Alcock, Wheeler, and Depledge found that “People who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers who don’t have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby. . . . Examining data from a national longitudinal survey of households in the United Kingdom, . . .
Researchers at University of California Berkeley learned that when we’re searching for something, parts of our brains can be used in unexpected ways. They found that when “we embark on a targeted search, various visual and non-visual regions of the brain mobilize to track down a person, animal or thing. That means that if we’re looking for a youngster lost in a crowd, the brain areas usually dedicated to recognizing other objects such as animals, or even the areas governing abstract thought, shift their focus and join the search party.
Halbesleben, Wheeler, and Shanine investigated the workplace performance of people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Halbesleben and his team report that, conservatively, 4.4% of adult Americans have ADHD, so design that optimizes the performance of this population segment is desirable. Halbesleben, Wheeler, and Shanine’s research, based in attention control theory, leads them to conclusions consistent with those of “Kitchen (2006) [who] proposed accommodations [modifications for people with ADHD] such as time management tools (e.g., to-do l