design psychology

Selections Made After Trauma (09-09-16)

Being in a traumatic situation, living through a flood, for example, effects how lives are lived and selections made, even after that flood or other traumatic situation ends.  Sigirci, Rockmore, and Wansink have learned that  “Traumatic experiences – such as combat, living in a conflict country or war-torn nation, or experiencing a violent crime or natural disaster . . . may . . . influence a life-time of consumer relationships with brands and shopping. . . .  We show that those who experienced heavy trauma (e.g., heavy combat). . . .became . . .

Weather and Pain (09-08-16)

Think that aches and pains vary based on the weather?  You’re correct.  Researchers from the University of Manchester (UK) have found “a link between weather conditions – specifically rain and lack of sunshine – and chronic pain. . . . results suggest a correlation between the number of sunny days and rainfall levels and changes in pain levels. . . . as the number of sunny days increased from February to April, the amount of time spent in severe pain decreased.

Benefits of TeleWork (09-07-16)

Canonico’s research indicates that the performance-related benefits of telework decrease over time.  After collected data from over 500 employees of a British organization, she determined that  “The benefits of working from home disappear over time for both employees and organisations if it is a full-time arrangement. . . . While previous studies have demonstrated that home workers are more productive than office-based workers, . . . [this study] shows that on a long term basis, there are no differences between home and office workers. The reason, according to Dr.

Some Triangles More Desirable Than Others (09-06-16)

Researchers probed human responses to triangles in different orientations.  They have learned that “the same triangular stimuli were generally rated as less pleasant, less liked, and less familiar when they pointed downward than when they pointed upward.”

Xu Shen, Xiaoang Wan, Bingbing Mu, and Charles Spence.  2015.  “Searching for Triangles:  An Extension to Food and Packaging.”  Food Quality and Preference, vol. 44, pp. 26-35.

Eating: a Multisensory Experience (09-02-16)

In an open source article, Charles Spence thoroughly reviews how information collected through multiple senses influences the experience of eating food.  His findings, directly relevant to eating, provide insights on how multiple sensory experiences can combine in other contexts as well.  Spence reports that  “The latest research by psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists increasingly reveals the complex multisensory interactions that give rise to the flavor experiences we all know and love, demonstrating how they rely on the integration of cues from all of the human senses. . . .

Responses to Lines (09-01-16)

Salgado-Montejo and his colleagues probed psychological responses to concave and convex lines.  They learned via data collected in the United Kingdom and Colombia that when “participants viewed four variants (concave [smile-like] line, convex [frown-like] line, straight line, line absent) of three different products (tea, shampoo, juice). . . . [that there was] a general tendency across scales, products, and countries for the participants to rate products more positively and to choose products more frequently when they displayed a concave line relative to a convex line . . .

Efficiency Valued In Design (08-31-16)

Da Silva, Crilly, and Hekkert have linked design “efficiency” and user response.  Their research indicates that “the aesthetic appreciation of a wide range of artifacts—including works of art and consumer products—is partially governed by the principle of maximum effect for minimum means. . . .  Our findings . . . [indicate] that the aesthetic appreciation of a product depends, to some extent, on the perception that the product achieves more than other products from its category by making an efficient use of resources.”

Sounds and Meanings (08-30-16)

Walker reports on links between sounds and physical features that can be handy to know, in general, and particularly relevant, for example, to designers naming products, services, etc.  He states that  “words incorporating relatively high acoustic frequencies (i.e., front/close rather than back/open vowels) are deemed more appropriate as names for concepts associated with brightness, lightness in weight, sharpness, smallness, speed, and thinness, because higher pitched sounds appear to have these cross-sensory features. . . .

Creativity Breaks (08-29-16)

Carruthers reports that taking a short break in the middle of a task supports creative thinking.   In her presentation, Carruthers shares information about a study during which 100 people were asked to think of unusual uses for a familiar object, such as a brick.  The total number of ideas generated was included in the analysis of performance as was the number of types of ideas and how creative and unusual the options presented were.  In the middle of the process of trying to come up with those unusual uses, 75 of the 100 participants were asked to work on a different, irrelevant task for f

Envy at Work (08-26-16)

Envy in workplaces can arise for many reasons, imagined or real (consider variations in desk chairs provided).  Koopman, at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business has found  “a strong link between an employee’s feelings of envy after they perceive a supervisor has treated them worse relative to their co-workers and the length of time by which they process this information.”  A key concept discussed by Koopman is  “epistemic motivation” (EM) –– the desire to process information thoroughly and grasp the meaning behind a particular situation. . . .


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