How does building green influence commercial property values? The answer to this question suggests the psychological implications of green design and construction. Chegut, Eichholtz, and Kok found that “over the 2000–09 period, the expanding supply of green buildings within a given London neighbourhood had a positive impact on average rents and prices, but reduced rents and prices for environmentally certified real estate. The results suggest that there is a gentrification effect from green buildings.”
Pro-environmental behavior doesn’t always feel good; and this can complicate designers’ efforts to promote green behavior. Venhoeven and her team asked “why would acting pro-environmentally decrease one’s well-being, and why would it increase one’s well-being?” They “conclude that part of the answer lies in a different view on what well-being entails, and more specifically, whether the focus is on hedonic well-being (i.e., feeling pleasure) or eudaim
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found more reasons to flood interior spaces with sunlight and create outdoor spaces where people can absorb sunshine. (For additional information on daylighting, see, for example, https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/what-makes-home-office-good-wo....) The team in Edinburgh report that “Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure, cut the risk of heart attack and stroke – and even prolong life . . .
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.
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.
Rousi’s research with people riding in elevators confirms the psychological value humans place on controlling their own experiences. She interviewed people using elevators and found that “statistical analysis of . . . quantitative data showed a positive correlation between perceived safety and security, and the interior control panel design.
Research presented at the 2013 meeting of the British Psychological Society is consistent with previous studies of the psychological implications of smelling this scent (https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/rosemary-enhances-ability-remember-remember-6-26-07). This year, McCready and Moss reported that smelling rose
Ma-Kellams and Blascovitch learned that thinking about science influences our later thoughts and behaviors.
Metin and his colleagues investigated links between background sound and impulsive behavior by people with ADHD. They determined that when background “pink noise” was added to a test environment “Children with ADHD made more impulsive choices than controls. Adding noise did not reduce impulsive choice in ADHD.” Previous research indicates that white noise helps students with ADHD concentrate (https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/children-adhd-concentrate-bett...).
Prinz effectively reviews the existing research on how people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures perceive the physical world that surrounds them. He distinguishes individualistic and collectivistic cultures by stating that collectivists “tend to focus less on individual achievement [than people from individualistic cultures] and more on the groups to which they belong.” Cultures whose members are primarily not of European descent are generally collectivistic.