Smith summarizes recent research on the cognitive effects of having a cold, and her work indicates that taking steps to minimize their transmission, for example, through the tuning of HVAC systems and readily available hand sanitizing lotion dispensers, should be encouraged. Smith quotes Andrew Smith, a psychology professor at Cardiff University: “’the sort of cognitive impairment you see from a common cold is in the same ballpark with the consumption of alcohol, working at night or working for prolonged hours.’” Andrew Smith’s found that people with colds part
Sacks reports research indicating that visual monotony can be dangerous. He states that “The brain needs not only perceptual input but perceptual change, and the absence of change may cause not only lapses of arousal and attention but perceptual aberrations as well . . . .
Steidle and colleagues discussed the influences of light and temperature on social behavior at ExperiencingLight 2012, a prestigious international conference. Participants in the study they presented worked for an hour and a half in one of four different conditions, experienced light levels that were either 150 or 1500 lux and room temperature of either 20 degrees or 26 decrees centigrade (68 degrees or 79 degrees Fahrenheit). The researchers found that “Participants in the dim room reported less fear for rejection than participants in the brightly lit room .
Gueguen adds to the body of literature linking sunshine to positive mood, and although his findings may not be directly applicable to design, they do indicate the value of optimizing the amount of daylight that flows into designed spaces. (See http://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/what-makes-home-office-good-working-space for related information on designing with sunlight in mind.) Gueguen found that when all other weather
Research led by Schneider and her team may not be immediately applicable by designers, but it is an intriguing addition to knowledge about embodied cognition (the links between physical experiences and cognitive processes). For related information, for example on the link between physical warmth and positive social interactions, see http://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/classic-article-embodied-cognition—conceptual-tool-designers, Schneider and team learned that “when people experience ambivalence, they move more from side to side . . .
Effective signage and maps are an important component of many projects, particularly complex ones such as office complexes and healthcare facilities. Hegarty investigated the sorts of signs that people say they prefer, when asked, and those that are actually most useful to them. She learned that people “have a tendency to choose more realistic and complex maps over less realistic and simple ones, even though performance is more efficient with simple maps.” As Hegarty states, “one implication of the research presented here is that it is important to object
People from different cultures can respond to the same design elements in different ways. (For additional related information, read https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/classic-publication-ground-breaking-research-national-culture-and-experience.) Chiao and Immordino-Yang reviewed recent neuroscience research and report, for example, that national “culture appears to shape neural processing b
The American Institute for Cleaning Sciences may not be impartial about the value of clean facilities, but their recent research paper on this topic, available at the website noted below, is based on independent studies.
Dunning and Balcetis’ research confirms that what we see can be based on our thoughts and preferences and may not be totally objective. They conclude that “people see what they wish to see. People categorize objects and represent aspects of their environment in ways that align with their preferences, a phenomenon that has been demonstrated using different measures of perceptual experience and corroborated using both nonconscious and behavioral measures.
A Swedish study has empirically linked stress and hypersensitivity to sounds. Hasson, Theorell, Bergquist, and Canlon learned that “Women suffering from stress-related exhaustion exhibit hypersensitivity to sounds when exposed to stress.” During the study reported, men and women “between the ages of 23 and 71 with low, medium or high levels of 'emotional exhaustion' [experienced] five minutes of experimentally induced physical (hand in ice), mental (performance on a stress test) and social (being observed) stress.” Women participating in the study “