sensory science

Light Levels and Hopelessness (05-07-15)

Dong, Huang, and Zhong investigated the relationship between hopelessness and preferred lighting levels.  They report that “Common parlance such as ‘ray of hope’ depicts an association between hope and the perception of brightness. . . . we found that people who feel hopeless judge the environment to be darker. . . .

The Value of Bricks and Mortar Stores (05-06-15)

Physical stores continue to add value.  Pauwels and Neslin evaluated “the revenue impact of adding bricks-and-mortar stores to a firm's already existing repertoire of catalog and Internet channels. . . . [investigating] customer acquisition, frequency of orders, returns, and exchanges, and size of orders, returns, and exchanges. . . . store introduction cannibalizes catalog sales and has much less impact on Internet sales. Also as hypothesized, returns and exchanges increase. Interestingly, transaction sizes of purchases, returns, and exchanges do not change.

Quantifying Sitting Solutions (05-05-15)

Several studies have recently documented the benefits of reducing time sitting.  New findings quantify relationships between being seated and walking and health.  Research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reveals that “engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. . . . adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick. . . .

Supporting Creative Employees (05-04-15)

Hoff and Oberg interviewed office-working digital artists to learn more about how they believe the physical work environment can support their creative work.  The researchers found that “The physical work environment was considered to offer three types of support for creative work for the participants: functional, psychosocial and inspirational. Creative processes would find better breeding ground if functional support, such as adequate lighting and tools, and psychosocial support, such as spatial possibilities for both privacy and communication, were provided.

Space/Design and Country-Wide Subjective Well-Being (05-01-15)

Diener, Oishi, and Lucas reviewed the research related to subjective well-being, which is defined as “people’s evaluations of their lives—the degree to which their thoughtful appraisals and affective [emotional] reactions indicate their lives are desirable and proceeding well.”  Space/Design-related findings are that “Studies on green space, including experimental studies, quasi-experiments, experience sampling, and longitudinal studies suggest that people are happier in areas with parks, trees, and other greenery. . . .

Status-Related Choices (04-30-15)

Some of us are more interested in having high-status objects than others.  Walasek and Brown report that “members of unequal societies are likely to devote more of their resources to status-seeking behaviors such as acquiring positional [status-related] goods.”  When analyzing Google searches the researchers determined that “Search terms that occur with relatively higher frequency in states with greater . . . income inequality are more likely to concern status goods—designer brands, expensive jewelry, and so forth—than nonstatus goods. . .

Residential Architecture and Obesity (04-29-15)

Researchers at Ohio State University investigated factors linked to obesity in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. They found “two seemingly unrelated but strong predictors of obesity: having low self-esteem related to one's weight and keeping food visibly available around the house, outside the kitchen. . . . architectural features had no relationship to obesity. . . .

Physical Experience and Compensation Claims (04-28-15)

A number of factors influence whether a workers’ compensation claim is filed and understanding those influences provides insights on users’ experiences.  Bailey, Dollard, McLinton, and Richards learned that “Causal agents for workers' compensation claims and physical injury have largely been identified as physical demands. . . . Australian workers completed a telephone interview on two occasions 12 months apart. . . . the physical mechanism was confirmed; physical demands were related to MSDs [musculoskeletal disorder symptoms], which in turn predicted workers' compensation claims. .

Advantages to Speaking (04-27-15)

Schroeder and Epley have identified advantages of presenting proposals orally, as opposed to only in writing.  They determined that “A person’s mental capacities, such as intellect, cannot be observed directly and so are instead inferred from indirect cues. We predicted that a person’s intellect would be conveyed most strongly through a cue closely tied to actual thinking: his or her voice. . . .

Thinking on Treadmills (04-24-15)

Research on working at treadmill desks continues to roll in.  Larson and his colleagues have learned that “Walking on a treadmill desk may result in a modest difference in total learning and typing outcomes relative to sitting, but those declines may not outweigh the benefit of the physical activity gains from walking on a treadmill.”