Younan and team linked neighborhood greenspace to less aggressive behavior by adolescents living nearby. As the researchers explain, “Neighborhood greenspace improves mental health of urban-dwelling populations. . . We conducted a prospective study on urban-dwelling adolescents to examine the association between greenspace in residential neighborhood and aggressive behaviors. . . . .
Feeling-of-knowing (FOK) is that impression we all get from time to time that we know something, such as the answer to a question someone is asking us, but that we can’t recall that information at the time we’re being asked for it. Hanczakowski and team found that “FOK judgments increase in the presence of a familiar environmental context.” Familiar in this case means one that has been experienced (seen, for example) in the past.
Shanahan and her team investigated links between the amount of time spent outside per week and mental and physical health. Their research determined that 30 minutes outside per week can significantly improve wellbeing. According to the researchers, “Nature within cities will have a central role in helping address key global public health challenges associated with urbanization. . . .
Oxford Economics surveyed over 1,200 workers from around the world. They found that “The ability to focus without interruptions is a top priority for employees [of all ages] when it comes to office design; access to amenities like free food is far less important. . . .
Ossmann reports on a comprehensive study of waiting area experiences. She shares that “To explore the link between more supportive waiting room design and an improved patient experience, researchers partnered with a major academic medical center in the southeastern United States.” The investigators found that in the waiting spaces where observations were conducted “one-third of the seating was situated facing windows, which in the study setting negated a view to the desk or doors.
The American Medical Association (AMA) assessed street lighting in the United States and reports that “High-intensity LED [light emitting diodes] lighting designs emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye and create worse nighttime glare than conventional lighting. . . . blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most adversely suppresses melatonin [which helps regulate sleep] during night.
Design can influence mood and mood influences what people remember. Spachtholz and his team found “positive affect [mood] tuning memory formation toward richness and negative affect tuning memory formation toward strength.” So, memories formed when people are in a good mood are richer, having, for example, more remembered details, while memories formed when people are in negative moods are stronger.
Researchers, take note: Writing down notes does indeed help us remember information, even when notes taken are not later reviewed. As Thorley reports “Mock jurors first watched a trial video. Three-quarters were permitted to take notes whilst watching it. One-third of these mock jurors then reviewed their notes, one-third mentally reviewed the trial only, and one-third completed a filler task to prevent any form of reviewing. The remainder took no notes during the trial and also completed a filler task afterwards. All then had their memory of the trial assessed via free recall.
Designing opportunities to interact with humans into service centers is a good idea. In a study of tourist offices, Arana and colleagues found that “the human factor is . . . key in providing satisfaction to visitors. . . . visitors place higher values on information services received through personal interaction than through automated processes based on new technology.”
Jorge Arana, Carmelo Leon, Maria Carballo, and Sergio Gil. 2016. “Designing Tourist Information Offices: The Role of the Human Factor.” Journal of Travel Research, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 764-773.
Grzywacz’s research confirms the negative repercussions of stressors in workplaces. He found that cognitive function and memory are degraded in offices with more physical hazards. Environmental hazards/stressors were broadly defined and studied using two sets of measures: “The first set of items assessed the frequency of exposure to hazardous conditions, the likelihood of injury as well as the degree of injury resulting from the exposure, if an injury occurred. . . . The second set of items assessed exposure to environmental conditions.