design science

Seeing the Coast and Feeling Pain (06-13-17)

Tanja-Dijkstra and her colleagues linked seeing coastal scenes via virtual reality and experiencing less pain (even during dental treatments such as tooth extractions and fillings).  They report that “Virtual reality (VR) distraction has become increasingly available in health care contexts and is used in acute pain management. However, there has been no systematic exploration of the importance of the content of VR environments. Two studies tested how interacting with nature VR influenced experienced and recollected [remembered] pain after 1 week. . . .

Walking, Cycling, and Light Levels (06-12-17)

How do light levels influence the number of people walking or cycling?  Uttley and Fotios answered that question by analyzing “Pedestrian and cyclist count data . . . using the biannual daylight-saving clock changes to compare daylight and after-dark conditions whilst keeping seasonal and time-of-day factors constant. . . . . Daylight increased pedestrian numbers by 62% and cyclist numbers by 38%. . . .

Humans' Preference for Shiny Finishes (06-09-17)

Research by Silvia and his team confirms that people prefer shiny objects to matte ones.   Silvia and colleagues share that “Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We . . . present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults . . . viewed silver coins that were either dull or in ‘brilliant uncirculated’ condition as well as copper cylinders that were either rough and tarnished, polished with a brushed surface, or polished with a mirror finish.

Mirrors and Eating (06-08-17)

A press release from Nagoya University indicates that seeing ourselves while we eat affects how much food we consume.  The reported findings have repercussions for the use of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces in spaces where people will eat and are particularly relevant, for example, in environments for older individuals who often dine alone.  Researchers determined that “people eating alone reported food as tasting better, and ate more of it, when they could see themselves reflected in a mirror, compared with when they ate in front of a monitor displaying an image of a wall.”  Previous rese

Commuting and Control and Wellbeing (06-07-17)

Smith’s work verifies that having a comfortable level of control over our lives increases our wellbeing and it also supports adding bicycle storage rooms to office buildings.  Smith found that “Active travelers are happiest with their commute trips. . . .For car and transit commuters, traffic congestion significantly decreases commute well-being and using the trip productively increases commute well-being . . . Data were collected from a web-based survey of workers . . . in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. with four modal groups: walk, bicycle, transit and car users. . . .

Equal Chair Heights (06-06-17)

Research by Baranowski and Hecht confirms that it's important for the seats of all people participating in a conversation to be about the same height above the ground.  The duo reports that “Film theories have long proposed that the vertical camera angle influences how the scene and the character in it are interpreted. An elevated camera (high-angle shot) should diminish the qualities of the actor, whereas a lowered camera (low-angle shot) should elevate the actor in perspective as well as in the viewer’s opinion. . . .

Babies and Color (06-05-17)

Skelton and her colleagues thoroughly investigated how babies (4 to 6 month olds) experience colors.  They determined that “infants have color categories for red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We show that infants’ categorical distinctions align strikingly with those that are commonly made in the world’s different color lexicons [systems/dictionaries]. . . .

Courtroom Design Implications (06-02-17)

McKimmie and his colleagues probed how courtroom design influences opinions of defendants.  They report that their “study examined the effect of courtroom design, and more specifically where the defendant was positioned (in an open dock, in an open dock guarded by a correctional officer, in a dock surrounded by glass, or at the bar table) on mock jurors’ perceptions of the defendant. The participants . . .

Americans’ Color Preferences and Associations (05-31-17)

Harris Poll, on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, conducted the National Painting Week Color Psychology Study, collecting information from 2,201people over age 18 via an online survey.  Among the interesting findings: “62 percent of Americans select[ed] blue as one of the colors they like most. The strong preference for blue is consistent across genders, regions and age. Many Americans also said they associate blue with calmness (45 percent). . . .The color black is the second-most popular color (32 percent), followed by red (31 percent). . . .

Organizational Change Stressful (05-30-17)

Often workplaces are redesigned during periods of organizational change and research released by the American Psychological Association indicates that organizational change can be very stressful.  Workplaces can be designed to defuse at least some of that stress and the knowledge that it is present should inform the interpretation of research data, for example, information collected in the course of a post-occupancy evaluation.  The APA press release reports that “American adults who have been affected by change at work are more likely to report chronic work stress, less likely to trust the

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