Ellard and his team reported on their work at the 2016 Psychology of Architecture conference. They shared that they “have developed a toolkit using specially programmed mobile phones and sensor technology that permits rapid assessment of psychological and physiological responses to place. Participants in our experiments are led on curated walks while prompted to answer self-assessment questions, complete cognitive tests, and are monitored for physiological arousal and some simple indices of brain activity. Findings from experiments conducted in five different cities have shown a strong dependence of mental state on façade design and landscape architecture. Participants not only preferred higher complexity façades, but such designs also showed higher affective states and physiological arousal. Measures of eye movements also suggested that higher complexity locations elicited increased cognitive processing. Locations rich in greenspace showed both high affect and low arousal, but impeded performance on a test of sustained attention.”
Colin Ellard, Vedran Dzebic, Hanna Negami, Emily Grant, Robin Mazumdar, and Adam Francey. 2016. “Field Investigations of the Relationship Between Place and Psychological State Using Mobile Sensor Technology.” Psychology of Architecture Conference, December 5, Austin, TX, Program, p. 33.