Travers and her colleagues investigated the link between walkability and actual walking among a group of Australian adults over 65 years old. Looking at areas in a 400-meter radius around participants’ homes, the team “found no association between walkability of the built environment and walking behavior of participants. Although retirement village residents lived in more highly walkable environments, they did not walk more and their overall levels of physical activity were lower than those of community residents.”
Research Design Connections
Lowe and Ramanathan investigated the consequences of acoustic reverberation in retail spaces. They found that “relatively higher levels of acoustic reverberation can increase a consumer’s willingness to try unfamiliar products. . . . Reverberation (reverb) refers to the prolongation of sound (Valente, Hosford-Dunn and Roeser 2008). Extremely high levels of reverberation might be understood or described as echo. . . . Reverb levels are affected by the characteristics of an environment in which a sound is made.
Cialone and her team evaluated differences in responses to images. They asked professional sculptors, architects, and painters as well as a control group of people with other professions questions “about spatially complex pictures [Google street view, interior of St. Paul’s church, for example]. . . . Profession profoundly relates to how we think about space. . . .
Luffarelli and his colleagues researched associations to symmetrical and asymmetrical logos. Building on research showing that “symmetrical (asymmetrical) brand logos . . . . [are] evaluated more (less) favorably (Henderson & Cote, 1998),” the Luffarelli team found that “visual asymmetry is associated with excitement in memory. . .
Drew reports on a symposium held at the 2017 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science that focused on how the form of our bodies influences our thoughts.
Choi, Chang, Lee, and Chang investigated how color can influence assessments. They found via “experiments and field surveys in the USA and South Korea. . . . that an anonymous person against a warm color background (vs. neutral and cold color background) is perceived to be one with warmer personality.” Also, “nurses’ perception of warmth from a hospital’s ambient color affects their favorable judgment of the hospital and intention to take on an extra role.”
Typefaces bring different sorts of tastes to mind. Velasco and his team have found via a study with words written in 3 languages (Spanish, English, and Chinese) and conducted with participants from 3 countries (Columbia, the United Kingdom, and China) that “People associate tastes and taste words (e.g., “bitter,” “sweet,” etc.) with shape features in predictable ways. . . . rounder typefaces were reliably associated with the word sweet, whereas more angular typefaces were associated with the other tastes in all 3 languages and countries. . . .
Urban trees have an important effect on how weather is experienced. Researchers from the University of British Columbia have found that “Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new . . . study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating costs. . . . ‘We found that removing all trees can increase wind speed by a factor of two, which would make a noticeable difference to someone walking down the street.
Sieben and her team studied crowd management. Their work verifies the value of installing stanchions connected by ropes (or something similar; called the “corridor setup” by researchers) to funnel crowds through a space. As the Sieben group details, “an experiment in which a large group of people . . . enters a concert hall through two different spatial barrier structures is analyzed. These two structures correspond to everyday situations such as boarding trains and access to immigration desks. . . .